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Unlicensed daycare where two-year-old died a 'public health nightmare,' report shows

A report shows public health inspectors found numerous health violations at an unlicensed daycare in Vaughan, Ont., north of Toronto, where a two-year-old girl died this summer.

Eva Ravikovich died July 8 at the Yellowood Circle daycare in Vaughan and inspectors were subsequently sent to the site.

A report from York Region's public health unit shows several health violations were found, including listeria in three different foods — such as deli meats and stew — kept in the fridge or on the counter at the site. Listeria contaminated food can pose a serious health threat.

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Other violations included dirty diapers and garbage being found in the kitchen, inadequate handwashing and sanitizers, and as many as 14 dogs in the house.

Andrea Calver of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care says the report shows "a public health nightmare" at the site and is calling on the province to ensure all home daycares that operate as a business are licensed.

The daycare was ordered shut down following Ravikovich's death and the girl's parents have launched a $3.5-million lawsuit against the Education Ministry and the owners and operators of the daycare.

They allege the daycare was an unsafe environment and the operators failed to both monitor children for potential health issues and respond properly to an emergency situation.

The family also alleges the Education Ministry failed to properly inspect, investigate and regulate the daycare.

Ministry officials have admitted that they failed to follow up on two of three previous complaints lodged against the daycare.

Two ministry employees were suspended.

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