Daycare faces fines for having too many children

A Riverview area daycare provider is being faced with a tough decision -- she must either cut the number of children she cares for or face a $2,000 fine per day.

Kathy Rowe has operated the unlicensed daycare at her Blair Street home for years, but was recently reported to inspectors for caring for too many children at once.

In Ontario unlicensed daycares can only have five children under the age of 10, but she watches up to nine.

Rowe told CFRA she would have to make a difficult decision: face the fine or send some children home.

"It's like whose heart do I break? I don't know what I'm going to do. I honestly really don't," she said. "My parents are very concerned for me because they do not want me to be fined."

She said she was not given enough time to find alternate care for some of the children.

Rowe said she loves all of the children as if they were her own and often takes them on outings and museum visits, saying she has no problem handling them.

Around 20 parents and neighbours gathered at the daycare Monday morning to show their support for Rowe, saying she is clearly capable of managing all of the children and should be allowed to continue doing so.

"As a parent, I firmly believe that every parent has the right to choose who takes care of their kids," said Lindsay Bell whose three daughters have been cared for by Rowe.

"I never heard anything negative about the place," said neighbour Sister Annetta Ryan, who lives a few doors down. She said she has seen Rowe walking to the park with a number of children who were always well behaved.

Rowe's daycare was shut down last week over concerns of hazards in her home, but she quickly addressed the concerns and inspectors allowed her to reopen on Monday morning.

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