Childcare infractions not a surprise

A number of Kelowna area childcare facilities were found to have infractions during their October inspections, which are conducted by Interior Health.

In total, 14 had at least one violation. The 'notices' ranged from incomplete records on the children to unsafe or faulty equipment.

But according to Gretchen Komick, the acting Assistant Director of Health Protection, this is not uncommon.

“I think it’s really a reflection of the kind of work that the licensing officers do in general. They go into their facilities and do routine, unannounced inspections and they look for a variety of standards,” explains Komick.

“So they’re always looking at things like staffing ratios and qualifications of employees and the supervision of the children. In that whole broad spectrum of categories, there are a lot of areas they’re looking at and it isn’t any surprise that during an unannounced inspection they’re going to find some non-compliance issues that are minor in issue and that is typically the case.”

These minor issues are documented at the time of inspection and in many cases are fixed by the childcare provider on the spot or within the next few days.

If there are non-compliant issues that are unable to be fixed immediately, such as physical damage to an area of the home or building, the licensing officer will work with the childcare provider to come up with a completion date.

In addition, each facility is given a risk rating by the licensing officer, which ranges from low to high.

A low risk facility may be visited a minimum of once a year, while the higher risk facilities can expect multiple visits per month.

“This risk assessment looks at the historical compliance of the facility, it looks at the number of incidents that have occurred and the file is reviewed from all the inspection reports put together,” says Komick.

It is rare that a childcare facility is closed or has its license revoked, such as when there is a major injury to a child or there are allegations of abuse. But Komick says in many of those instances, the daycare provider will shut down on their own.

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