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Local children’s facilities identified among those with violations

Three Pictou County early childhood development facilities in Pictou County were among the top 10 in a list of Nova Scotia facilities with violations since 2012.

The list was released by CBC, which had obtained the information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The YMCA of Pictou County After School Program at Walter Duggan had 57 violations. The YMCA program at G.R. Saunders also had 30 violations and Family Home Child Care Society in Stellarton had 31 violations.

While the data sounds bad, YMCA CEO Dave MacIntyre said it’s a bit deceiving. He said many of the violations are from two years ago and have been dealt with. All of the YMCA’s programs are in full compliance now, he said.

“Basically it’s based on violations from two years ago and they’re accumulative,” he said.

He explained two inspections are done each year, one in September and one unscheduled. Once the inspection is made, the facilities have 30 days to correct it.

Violations could be anything from not having the parent handbook in the proper location to not recording the proper immunization dates in a child’s health file.

“None of them were serious by any means,” MacIntyre said.

CBC listed the top three violations as:

Not completing child abuse registry check for workers – 339 cases

Invalid first aid training, including CPR – 189 cases

Not following guidelines for preventing and controlling communicable diseases – 136 cases

MacIntyre said it’s good that the government does these inspections and is so stringent because it does help serve as a tool to ensure child safety. It’s something he said the YMCA is on board with.

“We have a new child safety and protection policy in place that we’ve implemented in the last year,” he said. “We really feel child safety is a huge matter and we take it very seriously.”

The YMCA has been operating its afterschool program for 10 years without any major issues.

“We make sure we’re on top of these things,” MacIntyre said.

He said CBC had not contacted them for comment on the story they did.

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