It's every parent's worst nightmare. You spend months researching childcare providers and checking references, only to find the entrusted daycare is not worthy or capable of looking after your child.
That's what happened at the award-winning Markham Village Childcare Centre, which had its licence revoked after three toddlers stepped out of its playground undetected. A subsequent investigation by the Ministry of Children and Youth found that the children at the Centre were underfed and its supervisor unqualified.
Two girls and a diaper-clad boy, between 18-24 months old, managed to slip out of the daycare, through a busy parking lot and into a nearby Shoppers Drug Mart, before the pharmacy's staff eventually discovered the children were unattended.
"We all have small children and we couldn't believe this was happening," said Shireen Moniz, cosmetics manager at Shoppers Drug Mart.
At first the daycare didn't even notice anything was amiss. After the incident, parents were duly informed that the children had only been missing for 12 minutes while staff had been "tending to other children".
However, a surveillance camera later revealed that staff had been chatting and talking on cell phones.
Further investigation into the daycare revealed insufficient catering for the 28 children in attendance and failing grades on 12 further issues.
"The daycare will not open until all our requirements are met," said Ken Dove, a government spokesperson.
How could this happen? How many other daycares out there are guilty of such gross inadequacies without our knowledge? Shudder to think.