Parents frustrated after daycare cancels enrolment for some Calgary kids
Some parents of children who were slated to attend a southwest daycare are annoyed after they were told to find another facility with just a day’s notice.
Clever Daycare, at 3131 45 Street S.W., has left parents in the lurch before when it didn’t open on time and then delayed giving some parents their money back.
Now the daycare is under fire again after some parents say it took on more children than the space allowed and gave them just a day’s notice before cancelling their enrolment.
Hayleigh Austin put down an $1100 deposit eight-months ago for her then ten-month old son and says his start date was supposed to be September 1st, which is when she planned to head back to work.
Austin received an email on August 31st saying her child could not attend because the province had suddenly reduced the number of kids the daycare can legally take.
She says she got her money back quickly but says she is concerned about the way she was treated.
“It seemed they had no sympathy, no empathy, no understanding. They don't seem to get what they were doing to me as a mom and my son, who doesn't have anywhere to go tomorrow,” said Austin.
A number of other parents wrote complaints to online forums and to CTV News telling a similar story.
CTV Consumer Specialist Lea Williams-Doherty looked into the situation and says the province's child care inspection records show the ‘too many kids for too little space’ issue should have been on the daycare’s radar for months.
The facility was cited in June and then again in August for ‘failing to provide three square meters of floor space per child’ as the law requires.
Clever Daycare's general manager, Reza Hashemi, told Lea that those citations weren't for having too many kids overall, just too many in certain rooms at certain times.
"You build your program based on certain assumptions and at the end of the day you realize our assumptions weren't 100 percent correct," said Hashemi. "We take responsibility for this and we apologize for it."
Hashemi said that Clever also tried to negotiate a solution, which the province rejected on August 30, when it reduced Clever's capacity from 170 to 147 children.
Austin has since found another daycare but those in a similar situation can get help from children’s services to find a licensed daycare with space if they need it.
For more information on licensed daycares in the province, click HERE.
(With files from Lea Williams-Doherty)