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‘Excellent’ childcare providers celebrated but others who failed to make the grade also named

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Alison Daniels, Child Care Regulation Programme manager, David Kendell, director of the Department of Health, Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, with Chiquita Smith, Davika Furbert and Lillian Butterfield, childcare providers who received top marks in their STARS inspections. (photograph supplied)

The Ministry of Health honoured seven childcare providers that were highlighted as excellent through a new Child Care Regulation Programme – however, four providers were found to have fallen below standards.

The Government said 31 daycare providers had been reviewed through STARS inspections based on the Children Act 1998, the Day Care Centre Regulations 1999, and the Child Care Standards 2018.

Of those 31, seven received top marks including Butterfield Day Care, Davika Furbert, Gillian Medeiros, Little Ones Home Day Care, Antonia Paynter, Sarai Home Care and Chiquita Day Care.

The rating indicated that the carers had scored between 90 and 100 per cent on 13 different sections.

Another seven providers received four stars, classified as very good, and eight received three stars for satisfactory.

However, five providers were awarded only two stars, meaning they need improvement, and four were given only one star, indicating a score below 59 per cent and that standards had not been met.

All of the one-star providers listed – Toddler Touch Nursery, Marie El-Amin, Maria Falcao, Angelia Day Care and Sharon Wilson – were listed as having provisional certificates set to expire on January 31, 2023.

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said: “When a provider gets a one-star rating, they meet with the programme manager and director and are placed on a provisional certificate that typically lasts six months.

“Based on areas identified from the inspection, a monitoring plan is created, and the daycare provider officer works with the provider to address the items on the plan.

“If this is successfully done, they can undergo the inspection again. If they do not address the monitoring plan, it could impact their certificate.”

Under Bermuda law, all daycare centres and daycare providers – who care for up to three children in their home – must be licensed and registered to care for children.

Carers receive a mandatory STAR inspection every two years in order to maintain their licence, although the inspection is deferred for the first year of operation as a provider.

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said: "STARS is designed to ensure compliance with the regulations and standards.

“All daycare centres and providers must undergo the STARS inspection to renew their licences and registration certificates.

"It is estimated that nine out of every ten children in Bermuda are cared for in a daycare setting at some time in their first four years. These daycare settings are a crucial environment for our children's development."

Ms Wilson added that if parents had any concerns about the care of their children, the Ministry wanted to hear them.

She said: "The Ministry of Health takes the safety and development of our children extremely seriously, which is why we have dedicated resources to this area. It is also why the ministry is appealing to parents to join our efforts.

“We need to hear parents' concerns about their children's care. We will investigate any issues with a daycare centre or home confidentially.”

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, presents a certificate to Davika Furbert, childcare provider who received top marks in her STARS inspection. (Photograph supplied)

Ms Wilson also urged parents to choose a registered and licensed home daycare provider.

“If they are not registered or a daycare centre is not licensed, there will be no way for us to guarantee quality in the environment and the person caring for your children,” she said.

“Licensed centres and registered home providers are listed on gov.bm."

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, presents a certificate to Lillian Butterfield, childcare provider who received top marks in her STARS inspection. (Photograph supplied)
Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, presents a certificate to Chiquita Smith, childcare provider who received top marks in her STARS inspection. (Photograph supplied)