Red bite marks next to Hudson McPherson’s right eye following a biting incident at Little Paws Daycare Centre. According to Hudson’s mother, Carol Gillard, he has been bitten 12 times by the same child while attending the centre. (Facebook photo)

Mom concerned after multiple biting incidents reported at Okanagan daycare

Parents upset that biting was allowed to continue for so long

Accounts of more than 50 biting incidents over the course of a year at a Penticton area daycare has parents asking questions why it took so long to address.

A recent post on the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) Facebook by Jacki McPherson reveals that her grandson, Hudson McPherson, 2, has been repeatedly bitten while attending the Little Paws Children’s Centre run by the PIB. Her post featured pictures of the young boy with red bite marks around his eyes, arms, hands and ears.

Bite marks on Hudson McPherson’s left ear after a biting incident at the PIB daycare. Photo from Facebook

Hudson’s mother, Carol Gillard, said he has been attending the centre for about a year and was bitten by another child within the first month. Initially, she and her husband were not concerned, but as the biting continued they felt the problem was not being properly addressed.

“After the second and the third time, it progressively got worse. In total, Hudson has been bitten around 12 times, seven times breaking the skin and leaving marks on his body,” said Gillard. “After the fourth or fifth time we had talked to the daycare, and they assured us that there was going to be smaller groups and that they were going to keep Hudson and (the biter) separated.”

Particularly red bite marks on Hudson McPherson’s right arm after a biting incident at the Little Paws Daycare Centre. Photo from Facebook

Things came to a head when the centre called a meeting in September 2018 to speak to the parents and address the biting concerns. It was there that Gillard and the biting child’s guardian, who will not be identified to protect the identity of the child, learned just how serious the situation had become.

“We were taken aback when we were called as a family to the daycare centre to talk about some biting behaviour. At that time, we were only aware of two incidents,” said the child’s guardian. “After we sat down at this meeting, we were informed that there had been, in fact, 52 biting incidents. We had only been notified of two of them from the period January 2018 to September 2018.”

The guardian said this child never exhibits biting behaviour at home so they were shocked to learn it was such a problem while at daycare. According to the guardian, the child is under the supervision of the Ministry of Child & Family Development (MCFD) “which means any scratch, any injuries or any concerns we by law have to report to MCFD.”

“During the Sept. 5, 2018, meeting with the daycare, we asked for the written documentation/incident reports of the 52 incidents and the daycare could not provide them to us. We were very frustrated because we felt that late notice of an obviously concerning behaviours was completely unacceptable,” said the guardian.

Gillard said following the meeting the daycare enacted a policy that if a child bites three times in one week, they are dismissed from the centre. The week of Feb. 11, the child had bit three times, two of the incidents involving Hudson. Another incident occurred Feb. 15.

On Sunday, Feb. 17, the guardian received an email from the daycare stating the child would no longer attend as of Feb. 19, until a “variance was received for the child to be moved upstairs to the three- to five-year-old room” which would take up to four weeks.

The guardian took the family’s concerns to the PIB Chief and council to address the issue. Due to a conflict of interest with the case, Chief Chad Eneas excused himself from the proceedings before the family spoke with the council.

“Council informed us that they could make recommendations to the CAO and the HR (human resources) director – and that was all they could do.”

The daycare later was in contact with the HR director and the child’s MCFD social worker to allow the child to return to the centre. The child now receives one-on-one support at the daycare centre to curb the behaviour, but both the guardian and Gillard are upset it continued for so long.

“It took one or two hours of daycare staff time to make the call to MCFD to have adequate supports put in place for our child which would ensure that none of the children were bitten – my question is why was this call not made before Feb. 20, 2019?”

The PIB and daycare did not return multiple requests for an interview by publication deadline Tuesday. The MCFD did not wish to comment in order to protect the identity of the child under their care.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Councillor Gambell raises motion to fit busses with seat belts

The motion was passed on Tuesday’s council meeting

FormaShape snuffs small electrical fire

Fire department responds to fire in Lake Country for precautionary measures

Melcor Developments supports YMCA Strong Kids with generous $9,000 donation

Local business raises funds to enrich community through YMCA services

Boil water notice extended into Kelowna’s northern boundary

City of Kelowna extends boil water notice to over 100 residences in northern boundary of Kelowna

Kelowna Memorial Cup committee visits 2019 tournament in Halifax

The committee wants to get a first-hand look at how the tournament is organzied

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Okanagan housing builds hope for 52 homeless individuals

The 52 unit supported housing apartment officially opens in Vernon

Gardens plant hope for Okanagan residents who were once homeless

Turning Points, in collaberation with Briteland, bring square foot gardening to Blair Apartments

Bear spray culprit released from Penticton RCMP custody

The individual who sprayed the bear spray at Compass House on May 22 has been released

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

RCMP set to patrol Okanagan lakes

Vernon-North Okanagan members will be on area waters helping keep boaters safe

Summerland students to raise voices in public speech competition

Public speaking component is included in high school English program

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Most Read