Summer camp accreditation gives parents peace of mind
By AdvocateDaily.com Staff
Summer camp accreditation offers parents some comfort in the event their child is injured in an accident while attending, says Toronto personal injury lawyer Jasmine Daya.
Daya, managing principal with Jasmine Daya & Co, explains that camps that are licensed under Ontario’s Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) are required to carry certain levels of insurance, which may prove critical if a lawsuit is ever necessary over a child’s injury.
“Whether an establishment has adequate insurance is not the first thing parents are thinking about when they’re signing their children up for camps. They tend to be more concerned about the types of activities that go on there, and the cost,” Daya tells AdvocateDaily.com. “Insurance is something you forget about until it becomes necessary, but if the camp is licensed, then you don’t have to worry about it.”
She says summer camps began to emerge at the turn of the 20th century in response to Canada’s historically long school break, which was originally intended to make children available to work for their farming families in our once agriculturally dominated society.
But recreational camps have become more popular than ever in recent years as months-long school holidays survived the modernization of Canada’s economy, Daya adds.
“For families who don’t have a nanny, these programs are crucial not only for childcare but also for structured programming where children can be stimulated and have fun, while in the care of individuals who can be held accountable,” she says.
In their search for suitable camps for their children, Daya says parents should favour the more than 400 organizations that are accredited under the CCEYA, which replaced the outdated Day Nurseries Act in 2015.
She says it can take between six and 12 months for a camp to obtain a licence, which requires operators to meet certain standards regarding staff-child ratios, physical environment, staff qualifications, and children’s health and well being.
“For parents and guardians of children, a licensed establishment is better because of all the rules and regulations they have to follow,” says Daya, who adds that the Act provides for penalties in cases of organizations who fall short of the regulations, including fines for non-compliance.
"Egregious cases may even result in criminal charges."