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B.C. mom wins daycare contract fight after kids insulted in text message

Operator had tried to sue for $1,800 when mom pulled her children without giving 30 days’ notice

Warning: The language in this story may be offensive to some readers.

A mom who pulled her kids out of daycare after the operator called her children a swear word will not have to pay for breaking a contract, a B.C. civil claims tribunal has ruled.

In a judgment released Wednesday, tribunal member Kate Campbell said the daycare breached the standard of “safe and professional care” when it referred to the children as “a**holes [sic]”.

As a result, the mother does not have to pay an $1,800 fee for removing them in November 2017 without 30 days’ notice.

The full names of the parents, the name and location of the daycare, and the name of the operator were not included in the decision to preserve the children’s anonymity.

At issue was a text message the daycare operator had sent: “Looks like Hanna and dylan took the say [sic] off and gave me the a**holes.”

Hannah and Dylan are the kids’ parents, according to the daycare contract.

It is not clear when the text message was sent or who was the recipient. The mother provided a screenshot of it.

The operator denied sending that exact message, Campbell wrote, but could not provide evidence that it wasn’t sent, or that it did not contain that word.

In evidence provided to the tribunal, the operator described the events leading up to the children not returning to daycare.

“After receiving this text, Hanna cried to me, unburdened herself to me regarding her personal life and work, hugged me and left her children at my home until 3 p.m.,” she said.

“I did not kick Hanna out, she chose to not come back the next day knowing abruptly withdrawing would incur charges as well as the remainder of her monthly payment along with the burden of looking for new care.”

Campbell said since it was the daycare operator suing the parents for $1,800, the burden of proof was on the operator who admitted a text was sent, and was unable to prove it was not offensive.

“I find it is an implicit term of any childcare agreement that the childcare provider provide safe and professional care to children,” she wrote, “and referring to children as assholes, even outside of their presence, does not meet that standard.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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