♪ [dramatic]>>Erica: This week onmarketplace…we take you inside daycares.>>Do you have first aid? CPR certification?>>Well, I’ve been doing this for many years.>>Erica: They should be one of the safest places children spend time.>>That’s where they play, all around here. Right here.>>Erica: But we reveal a patchwork system.>>Anybody can provide childcare and that’s really wrong.>>Erica: With no rules, potential dangers, and people breaking the law.>>Erica: We’re concerned about your kids’ safety in your daycare. ♪ [theme]>>Erica: We’re going undercover checking out daycares, to see what goes on when parents aren’t around. Searching for a space of our own, we’ll test if the places trusted to look after kids are safe. The people qualified.>>Thanks, hi.>>It’s a bit noisy right now.>>That’s ok.>>Erica: We investigate 20 daycares. Starting at this Toronto home.>>Erica: First impressions? It doesn’t look much like a daycare. The TV’s on, three children in a cluttered kitchen, and we’re told there’s space for more kids.>>Erica: So we ask for a tour.>>Erica: It starts in the basement playroom. Pretty small area and no windows.>>Erica: And check out where the kids nap!>>Erica: There’s barely room to move.>>Erica: Seems like it’s more for storage than sleeping babies.>>Erica: And worse, no other way out in case of a fire!>>Erica: Back upstairs, things don’t get any better with the outdoor play space.>>Erica: It’s a parking pad in a laneway.>>Erica: This is where children here run around. Ride their bikes. And daycares like this are not unusual. Across Canada, there are so few licensed daycare spots, there’s only room for 20% of kids who need looking after. Most children go to unlicensed or private daycare, an unregulated industry, where no one’s checking up. And sometimes, those daycares make startling news.>>A 14-month-old baby dies at a home daycare.>>A daycare operator has been charged in the sudden death of a baby boy>>Tonight a Yorkton teenager is accused of sexual assault involving a local daycare.>>Erica: So how much do parents know about who’s keeping an eye on their kids? We commission a national survey. Polled more than a thousand mom’s and dad’s. And discover parents are often in the dark.>>Erica: When we ask “Do all daycares have to meet standards or regulations?” 75% say yes, or they don’t know. Truth is, only licensed daycares have to meet certain standards. We want an expert’s take on our survey and hidden camera test so, we head to one of Canada’s top childcare researchers.>>Erica: Hi, Martha? Erica.>>Hi Erica. Nice to meet you.>>Erica: Martha Friendly runs a research centre for Early Childhood Education.>>Erica: Do you think most people realize anyone can hang out a shingle in this country and run an unlicensed daycare?>>I think most people think that there is much more government oversight than there actually is.>>Erica: So that’s the playroom, no windows. So what does she think of the first place we check out?>>Oh wow, that is dismal.>>Erica: So they sleep in a room that has no windows, no door to get outside.>>That’s not where children should be spending their days. And I think this really illustrates why, in regulations, there is oversight. And somebody comes and says, “No, no, you need to have a fire door. And you need to have windows.”>>Erica: So this is perfectly legal?>>Yes it is perfectly legal and that is what a lot of people are doing.>>Erica: Anyone can run an unlicensed daycare in this country; there’s only one rule. You can’t look after more kids than your province allows.>>Erica: And why bother with a license when not having one can be so lucrative.>>Erica: With five kids, this place would bring in $4,000 a month.>>Erica: A lot of money when you consider credentials aren’t required.>>Erica: And when it comes to her safety training, just listen.>>Erica: She just said in an emergency she’d call 9-9-1.>>Erica: Makes us wonder how often unlicensed daycares don’t have safety basics. In our survey, we ask parents using unlicensed care if the person looking after their child has CPR and First Aid certification. Almost one-third say there’s no safety training or they don’t know.>>Erica: Serious consequences, if a child chokes or hurts themselves, Which is why in most licensed daycares, safety training’s mandatory. (♪♪)>>Erica: Back on hidden camera our test continues, in another home daycare.>>Erica: At first there seem to be more adults milling around than children.>>Erica: But then we spot a toddler at the top of the stairs. No baby gates in sight. She tells us she’s looking after 3 kids who get the run of the house.>>Erica: Doesn’t look much like a daycare to Martha Friendly.>>If you are caring for children, you should be focusing on caring. Not having them traipsing around the house incidentally, while your friends or neighbours or whoever they were, are coming and going.>>Erica: And when it comes to this daycare worker’s credentials,>>Erica: Unapologetically she tells us she has none.>>Erica: She says she’s just a mom who runs a home daycare.>>She can be a fine mom but it is different to be taking care of others people’s children which is why I think then things like training become more important. It’s not your own children. You’re actually doing — it’s an economic activity.>>Erica: Training in early childhood education is important because the early years are key. So we survey parents about that, too. Ask if the person looking after their kids has training or qualifications in early childhood education. 58% tell us no or again – they just don’t know. And we’re about to uncover more problems. We find a daycare in a Toronto neighbourhood with plenty of young families,>>Erica: Gloria de Melo runs the daycare.>>Erica: Kids are everywhere. All 3 years old or younger. But wait a second, in Ontario, daycares can’t have more than 5 kids unless they’re licensed.>>Erica: But Gloria’s husband Sultan Jaffer reassures us all these kids aren’t the norm.>>Erica: He says some kids are just here for a short visit from their second daycare nearby. But we’re not convinced that’s what’s going on. When we watch parents doing morning drop off. There is Gloria opening up the daycare and child #1. There is 2, 3, 4, 5, wait a second 6, 7, 8, 9, all told 10 children go inside!>>Erica: We show childcare expert Martha Friendly. What’s the concern of having more than 5, why is that illegal?>>It’s a situation where nobody is looking at the space to see if it is safe whether there are fire doors, whether there is, you know, exits whether anybody, is there allergy procedures. So that is why they try to limit what is allowable in terms of the numbers of kids.>>Erica: Something we’re sure Gloria De Melo already knows given her history.>>Investigators say they were surprised with how many kids they found inside the in-home daycare.>>Erica: Yep. Gloria De Melo’s been caught before with too many kids. Authorities shut down her home daycare after counting 26 kids inside and charged her for running an illegal daycare. May not be surprising that she’s back at it. 10 kids equals up to $10,000 a month.>>Erica: When we come back, driving kids with no car seats? And angry parents react.>>I can make you shut it off. (♪♪)>>Erica: We’re taking you inside unlicensed daycares. So far the places we’ve seen are substandard. Even illegal. Others we visit might look okay but we find rules broken there, too! Here we’re told the daycare is licensed. But when we check it’s not. And here, her credentials check out.>>Erica: But again we discover more kids than the law allows. So how are they different from licensed daycares that have rules to follow? To find out, we catch up with this team from an Ottawa licensing agency. They drop by licensed daycares to make sure standards are in place. Oh wow we got four kids. There’s a list of requirements to meet. Like weekly schedules. Proof of credentials. A safe environment. All the rooms get the once over.>>All stairs need baby gates.>>Erica: Making sure children are safe. If a daycare’s unlicensed, the only rule to break is about the numbers. Through “Access to Information” we discover in Ontario alone there’ve been 757 complaints in the last 3 years. All about daycares with too many kids. That was the case in an Ottawa suburb where we head to meet a family dealing with the fallout.>>Erica: Hi Melanie.>>Hi Erica come on in.>>Erica: As soon as Melanie and Alain Audette found out they were expecting their first child, they got on Ottawa’s 10,000 long waitlist for licensed daycare. They waited 19 months, heard nothing, so they put their son Jeremie in an unlicensed home daycare.>>Erica: So you really did your due diligence looking for a place?>>I think we really, really did. I would show up with my list of questions – and I had at least thirty questions on my list – and sat down and asked all my questions.>>Erica: Asked all the right questions but before long things started to slip.>>We’d ask her what do you have planned for the day? And we wouldn’t get an answer. Sometimes we didn’t even know he was going out for a playdate, like the day of July 28th.>>Erica: That’s the day Jeremie’s daycare brings him on an outing without permission.>>They head to the backyard of this home daycare. Where there are 30 other kids. That’s Illegal. No one notices when Jeremie falls into the pool and drowns. Alain gets the call at work.>>I received a voicemail from her and I called her back and basically that’s when I learned that he had jumped in the big pool.>>And then he called me at work and the shock of my life. He told me Jeremie had jumped in the pool at Wendy’s and I didn’t even know what to think. I — we didn’t even know he was going there.>>Erica: Which is why Alain and Melanie Audette pushed for an inquest after Jeremie’s death. They want all daycares to be licensed, meet safety standards. Jurors at the inquest agreed, three months ago, they called on the Ontario government to create more licensed daycare.>>It’s very important for us as now we do have other children and we want to make sure that we do the right steps to make sure that they’re safe.>>Erica: But will government listen? We discover that Jeremie’s is the fourth Ontario inquest calling for more oversight. Frustrating for childcare researcher Martha Friendly.>>It’s about time we had enough quality licensed childcare, so that families wouldn’t be in this kind of situation. The federal government and provincial governments really need to get together to make that happen.>>Erica: We ask for an interview with Ontario’s minister in charge of child care. If someone could please call us back. To find out why so many parents still have no choice but to use unlicensed care.>>Erica: Instead, we get a statement, saying the government is “working to improve and modernize the child care sector in Ontario, and have helped to create 90,000 childcare spaces since 2003.”>>Erica: But clearly not enough. After our call the province does tell us, it’s now investigating the two daycares Gloria de Melo and her husband Sultan Jaffer run. And, there’s more. When we dig into their background, we learn Sultan Jaffer is charged in connection with a criminal ring allegedly bilking a bank out of 2 million dollars. He’s due in court this spring. His charges are not connected to kids but don’t you want to know who’s looking after yours? In our survey, when we ask parents if the person looking after their kids has a police background check 66% of them say no, or they don’t know. In licensed daycare everyone is screened. And when we watch Sultan we notice something strange. On several days he walks kids from their second daycare to a van parked nearby. He loads them in, including an infant and is gone for about 10 minutes, before arriving at their other daycare. And when our cameraman checks to see if the children have been transported safely, incredibly there’s no sign of car seats. Not here. Nowhere. Not only illegal, dangerous. When we come back, we go looking for answers. What about transporting kids without car seats? And so do some parents.>>I’m very angry about what you guys are doing. (♪♪)>>Erica: We’ve been taking you inside unlicensed daycares, including this one owned by Gloria De Melo. It’s illegal and her husband is moving kids from his daycare to hers in a van with no car seats. A crash with no protection on this snowy day, any parent’s worst nightmare. We want to know why they’re putting kids at risk. We ask Gloria De Melo for an interview. But don’t hear back. So, we catch up with her heading into the daycare. Hi Gloria, Erica Johnson frommarketplace.Just answer a couple of questions. We’re concerned about the kids’ safety in your daycare. Gloria, you know that’s illegal to have 10 kids in your daycare. Parents are trusting you with the safety of their kids. Why are you running an illegal daycare? What about transporting kids without car seats? Toddlers and infants, Gloria. How safe is that for the kids? You know that’s illegal. And it’s dangerous. Gloria may not be talking but the conversation’s not over. Back at our van, we’re approached by a parent from Gloria’s daycare.>>I’m very angry with what you guys are doing.>>Erica: He’s knows about our investigation and doesn’t like it.>>I don’t care.>>Erica: She is running something and putting the safety of kids in danger. That’s why there are rules in Ontario that you cannot have more than five in a daycare, unless they’re licensed.>>I understand that, I understand that. But I do not believe what she does is wrong. The kids will visit back and forth between daycares.>>Erica: You know some of the kids that get brought over from the other daycare, they’re being brought over without car seats.>>Not in a car ever>>Erica: In a car. We have seen them put the kids in a van.>>Do you actually have that on video with kids being put in a car without car seats?>>Erica: Yes, we do.>>I’d like to see it.>>Erica: We offer to show our footage to the parents of kids involved. Those who see it are angry. But none want to go on camera. Instead parents at the daycare send us a statement saying they agree that poor judgement was used … but that Sultan and Gloria “love our children and we support and trust them with their care.”>>Erica: Maybe so but until governments step up, parents across the country still have no choice but to leave their kids in places with no oversight. No safety checks. Just questions about who’s watching the kid. For questions you should ask your daycare, check out the Tip Sheet on our website.