Just a little CONSerned

Common Sense & Family Matters

Daycare Horror: Mexico Government to Blame

In Canada we do a lot of complaining about the availability and cost of quality daycare spots. We have also in the past strongly voiced our anger at the subsidised daycare in Quebec that sees them paying $7 a day for something we pay $30-40 dollars for here in Ontario. It is possible to find something a little cheaper than that, but still nothing beats the smaller at home day-cares run by caring moms who provide a fun, educational, and safe environment. 

Occasionally problems arise concerning the ratio of staff to child. Sometimes 1-3 or 1-5 with the former being most desirable but not always possible. I think as long as the centre is upfront about those types of things then it’s something to be weighed against the other pros and cons.

The total number of children permitted in one centre is a little confusing to me, but it has a lot to do with ages, accommodations, and the number of caregivers physically present at all times. Obviously it is very strictly monitored and enforced. Apparently that is not so everywhere.

By now most of you have heard about that horrifying fire at a daycare in Mexico where 41 children died. At the time of the fire there was 142 children attending, and 6 staff. Six! That is like a 1-23 ratio. Parents arriving on the scene were frantic trying to get to their kids, some ramming their vehicles in to the walls to aid in the rescue. There was only 2 doors for entry or evacuation, and one of them was padlocked shut. The windows were too high for the children to reach.

Not a single smoke detector was working, and the sprinkler system was not installed properly so it did not go off either. Yet just two weeks ago the ABC daycare centre passed a fire inspection. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and a lot of changes need to be made. But nothing is going to bring those children back. 

None of the six staff members on duty at the time were injured.

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June 8, 2009, 9:24 AM - Posted by | All News

28 Comments »

  1. I have heard of “pay offs”. I know of a Home for incurables back in PA. They “paid off” inspectors and would get 2 days notice before they came. They would re-arrange things, hide things, and get ready. I volunteered there, I know.

    What is the good of having a staff of 20, if only 6 are there? And to move little children, quickly? WHAT ARE THEY THINKING – with one door locked? IF they HAVE to have it locked, what about a dead bolt that ANY ADULT can UNDO, and way high up so no children can get it? Their door was chained and pad locked??
    The Director needs to go to jail, for life. So many precious little innocent lives, lost AGAIN, because of adult stupidity. The BABIES ALWAYS PAY! 😦

    Like

    Comment by heart10 | June 9, 2009, 12:04 PM | Reply

  2. Beast its very true Mexico has next to nothing in safety regulation. I believe it goes to the poverty of the country. If you implement regulation, it becomes costly for everyone so the government does nothing.

    Some here know I have a home near a small village in Mexico. Our family spends up to 2 months a year there helping the children.

    Poverty is deep and rampant. Houses that are put together with sticks & mud. Old faded lead based paint playgrounds for the kids still being used. Schools with some walls missing, we thought were abandoned. They are not, they are the current schools. It’s a vicious cycle. We go there to make a difference with a few families in hopes that it will make a difference for their futures. We provide on a small basis, OLPC laptops for some families there. If the poverty stricken children can be educated, then the cycle ultimately will cease. But that takes generations, education and the support of their government…

    I have to post in parts, this is getting long.

    Like

    Comment by pattycake07 | June 9, 2009, 3:43 PM | Reply

  3. What many may not know about the Mexican gov’t is this: once a child reaches grade 7, there are profound fees involved for children to continue with their education. Up to $60 per month. When you have families existing on less than $200/mo you can see how children cannot continue with education. It’s infuriating to know the Mexican gov’t isn’t doing enough to educate the children in their county. As if keeping families in a poverished setting is beneficial to the country.

    Most village children do not continue schooling. Instead after grade 6, they quit and go work with their parents picking produce in fields.

    Like

    Comment by pattycake07 | June 9, 2009, 3:45 PM | Reply

    • ooops, impoverished it should read

      Like

      Comment by pattycake07 | June 9, 2009, 4:05 PM | Reply

  4. It’s shocking to know in North America, we have a 3rd world country. Mexican government by far, does very little to help their citizens.

    There’s no easy solution or easy answer to these problems. If you regulate daycares and other businesses, they will cease to exist because there is very little money coming in and no assistance from the gov’t. It starts with educating both the government and the people.

    A small example:
    if you go on the beach near our house. In some populated spots on the beach, it’s littered with garbage. It’s not because the mexican citizens don’t care about the environment… it’s that they do not understand the impact, they do not understand that the plastic bottle they just tossed will be there 2000 years from now. We’ve all had to be educated about the 3R’s. So that’s just a small example.

    I’m not saying what happened in Mexico is not horrific. There should be something done about this. I’m just saying that it’s a much larger problem than just implementing a few rules. It isn’t easy.

    When you have impoverished families loading 20 people in the back of a pick up to go to the fields to pick for 12 hours a day… they don’t have time, money or the ability to understand why changes are needed.

    Its sad to say, but in our backyard, there is child labour. It’s not just a problem in China. WHEN that stops and children can ALL have the equal opportunity to obtain a grade 12 education – then we will see great changes in Mexico. Until then, there will continue to be vast safety issues for all their citizens. They are all just trying to survive and eat. We can do more to help.

    Like

    Comment by pattycake07 | June 9, 2009, 3:56 PM | Reply

  5. Thought I’d share:

    Here’s a pic with Jose & Cesar receiving their laptop… my daughter with them. Caesar sitting down is looking at a webcam showing his face on the screen. He was mesmerized for about an hour with that feature.

    img36.imageshack.us/my.php?image=pc220033.jpg

    Like

    Comment by pattycake07 | June 9, 2009, 4:03 PM | Reply

  6. This is one example of the homes people live in…

    img37.imageshack.us/my.php?image=p1030117.jpg

    Like

    Comment by pattycake07 | June 9, 2009, 4:12 PM | Reply

  7. Thank you for that picture Patty! It makes me smile so hard it hurts. You are an amazing woman! and I am in awe of the difference you are making for these kids!

    🙂

    Like

    Comment by Oceans | June 9, 2009, 4:13 PM | Reply

    • I was referring to the one of the kids!

      The picture of the house is a great example of the situation in general. The cycle of poverty needs to be broken!

      Like

      Comment by Oceans | June 9, 2009, 4:15 PM | Reply

      • YW… my kids cry when they have to leave. When they’re there, they don’t care about ipods & guitar hero… they love being a part of helping the kids. I’m proud of them.

        I wish safety would be priority for all children. If they don’t know any different, where do we start? The majority of Mexicans are very uneducated because of severe poverity and that makes for ignorance. Not on purpose but just because it’s the way it is.

        Like

        Comment by pattycake07 | June 9, 2009, 4:22 PM | Reply

        • my spelling lol, sorry the mistakes

          Like

          Comment by pattycake07 | June 9, 2009, 4:23 PM | Reply

  8. When my kids were teenagers we took them & one of their friends to Playa. As pay back for the liquor store found in their rooms & not being able to find one son for half a day ( girl, another hotel ) etc. I booked a bus trip to the Mayan ruins.
    Tour guide is telling us the history of the coliseum games, the winner was beheaded & immortalized with a cement likeness of his head. My one son whispers in my ear “that’s a good way to create a civilization of losers.”

    Patty it is awesome what you do to help others, you are a kind soul.

    Like

    Comment by Beth | June 9, 2009, 7:02 PM | Reply

  9. Kay, at the time this article was written the numbers are/were correct. The person you have quoted as saying something different is not a Gov official or even employed by ABC. When the official report is released I will update with additional info then. But that is only one small detail, 42 children are dead. Let’s try to concentrate on the important issues.

    Like

    Comment by Beast | June 10, 2009, 11:11 AM | Reply


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