Daycare hit with numerous infractions

Over capacity, unhygienic conditions, fire drills not taking place

Sundance Kids Centre at Sun Peaks. Photo SPIN

The Sundance Kids Centre, operated by Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR), is under investigation by Interior Health after a number of complaints led to inspections, investigations and infractions being found.

A total of 14 infractions have been found since the first complaint was investigated in September, including a manager obstructing inspections and investigations and instructing staff to do the same.

A report from Sept. 4 stated that a complaint was received on Aug. 30 alleged non-compliance with group sizes and employee to children ratios.

The complaints were substantiated and the resulting inspection lead to a number of other discovered infractions.

Licensing found an outdoor play area being used that had not been submitted for review, that there was no policy for supervision of naps and one staff member working in the occasional child care program was not qualified as a responsible adult.

The inspection also reported non-compliance with group capacity and children under three being allowed into a multi-age child care program and old food and debris on the floor of a program area.

As a result of the September inspection the facility was required to submit a site plan for the play structure, submit plans for the supervision plan for napping, cleaning and sanitizing and for staff use and education.

One month later on Oct. 7 Interior Health followed up with the facility found staff’s personal items stored in a program area with no effort to ensure children cannot access items that may be hazardous.

On Oct. 31 another complaint led to an inspection which found five non critical and two critical infractions.

During this inspection it was revealed the manager has obstructed licensing during previous investigations and inspections, had instructed staff members to lie to licensing and placed unqualified staff on the floor to make it look like the facility was in compliance with staff to child ratios.

The visit also showed staff weren’t taught or practiced the emergency plan annually or a fire drill monthly and some staff weren’t given an orientation to policies and procedures before working with children.

Some staff files were incomplete or out of date and unhygienic conditions were found in the bathroom.

Food prep was also critiqued and a report stated a food permit may be required for the types of meals being prepared by staff.

Problems also arose with the number of hours some children were attending programs. One child, in the occasional child care program, attended 163 hours in 30 days, 123 hours over the maximum allowed of 40. The Oct. 31 report also noted staff not qualified as a responsible adult had supervised children.

Jeremiah Powell, Interior Health licensing team leader, confirmed recent inspections found some areas that could use improvement.

“We asked for a plan to improve care for kids in the school,” he said.

Powell confirmed two inspections took place in one month. From the first came a plan of action and, Powell said, there was significant improvement when they returned.

The facility will have more time to work with licensing on the remaining concerns and doesn’t currently face further action.

“If we feel the health and safety of the children is a risk and the operator was unwilling to work with us we will consider stronger action.”

In a statement to SPIN on Dec. 9 SPR confirmed they were aware of the situation.

“Sun Peaks Resort LLP is aware of the recent inspection reports related to the Sundance Kids Centre. As Sun Peaks continues to rapidly evolve from both a tourism and community standpoint, ongoing pressures in key service areas are to be anticipated and addressed,” it read. “In the coming weeks, we will be taking a collaborative approach with our partners to ensure success of future child care operations by implementing a number of strategies for both the short and long term. In addition, a number of steps have already been taken to demonstrate how the existing operation provides a quality child care experience while consistently meeting regulatory requirements.”

Powell said any parents with concerns can contact them at 1-877-980-5118 or licensingdirect@interiorhealth.ca.

“If parents have concerns please contact us. Inspections are once or twice a year and they are there every day. Talk to the operator first but you can contact us.”

 

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