Sask. early childhood association offers tips for parents when choosing daycare providers
A day after Saskatchewan RCMP announced child pornography and sexual assault charges on a 40-year-old man, Saskatchewan's Early Childhood Association is offering tips for parents concerned this could happen to their children.
On July 14, a search warrant was executed at a home on First Avenue East in Marshall, Sask., after an online service reported child pornography videos had been uploaded, according to Saskatchewan RCMP.
Because a daycare was operating at the home, RCMP alerted Saskatchewan's Ministry of Education about the investigation the same day. The ministry suspended the daycare's licence on July 16.
On Sept. 23, Joseph Sproull, 40, appeared in Saskatchewan Provincial Court in Lloydminster on child porn and sexual assault charges.
Georgia Lavallee is the executive director with Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association and has a few suggestions to help comfort parents when looking for childcare programs.
"First things first I would recommend doing a tour, so either doing a tour of the home or the center, asking certain questions like how many children are being cared for in that setting, how are the children being supervised?"
She also recommends getting the details on how behaviour is managed and how the centre goes about disciplining children.
"Asking about insurances that the provider has in place, and also just going off of that gut-feeling that you might have. Is the caregiver easy to speak to, is that early childhood educator someone that you'd like to be around your child all the time, and asking if they are licensed through the Ministry of Education."
Lavallee also wants parents to be aware of drop-in times.
"Can I drop in at any time to see my child throughout the day. If an individual or the provider says no I think that is a red flag."
Allegations disturbing to Saskatoon parent
The charges and allegations levied against Sproull disturb parents like Jennifer Wiggins.
“It makes me feel sick to my stomach. My children have been in childcare for several years.”
Wiggins has two children aged 10 and 12 years old.
“I remember growing up in small town, and hearing stories like that when I was growing up. Hearing that it still happens, it's scary, it's frightening,” she said.
Her two children are currently attending after and before school programs, which they attend at their schools. Wiggins looks through a plethora of criteria before handing her children over.
"Particularly experience with children, any certifications like early childhood development, if they are parents themselves, that instantly increases how much I trust a person," Wiggins said.
She also looks out for reputation and referrals from other parents.