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Complaints FAQs

Filing a Complaint

What kind of complaints does the College consider?

I have a serious concern about a member and I would like to file a complaints. How should I go about doing this? 

I recently filed a complaint with the College. What are the next stages of the process?

How long does the complaints process take? 

I would like to file a complaint, but I am not sure if the person is a member of the College.  What can I do?

Is it possible to file a complaint anonymously?​

Is the complaints process confidential?

Is there a time limit when filing a complaint?​

The College has notified me that a complaint has been filed against me.However I do not wish to provide a statement or any further information. What will happen if I choose not to submit a response?​

Can I call and find out if a complaint has been filed against me?​

I think someone might file a complaint against me. What can I do to protect myself?​


Employer Concerns

The Children's Aid Society (CAS) is investigating an incident at my centre. Do I need to inform the College?

When am I required to report to the College?

One of my employees quit without notice. What should I do?


Other Concerns

There is an employee at the centre where I work who is not registered with the College and I am concerned. What can I do?

I was just fired from my job. However, my employerhad no right to fire me. This is unfair. What can the College do to help me?

I am filling out the application form/renewal form and am unsure about the Declaration of Conduct section. I’m not sure if I should check “yes” for one of the statements.

I am concerned that an employee at the centre where Iwork/that my child attends has been treating a child/the children in a manner which may constitute abuse. What should I do?

I am filling out the application form/renewal form and am unsure about the Declaration of Conduct section. I'm not sure if I should check "yes" for one of the statements.​

My employer does not follow ratio guidelines as laid out in the Day Nurseries Act and I’m worried this could put the children at risk.

I am concerned that a centre is not following certain regulations and is now unsafe for children (lacking policies, poor maintenance, etc.)​


​Hearings

The complaint against me has been referred to a heari​ng. What happens now?​

Do I need a lawyer if my matter has been referred to a hearing?

Does the College provide legal counsel or legal a​dvice?​

If the hearing committee finds me guilty of professional misconduct or finds me to be incompetent or incapacitated, what could happen?​

At my hearing, I was ordered to take a course of study. How do I go abo​ut this?​

Can I appeal decisions made by the Discipline Commit​tee or the Fitness to Practise Committee?​​



​Filing a Complaint


 

The Complaints Committee of the College considers complaints alleging professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity against a registered member of the College.

 

    Please fill out the Complaint Intake Form. Once the form is completed, it can be mailed to the College, submitted by e-mail to discipline@college-ece.ca, or faxed to 416 961-6995.

    If you are unable to access the Complaint Intake Form, the College can mail it to you or you can simply write a letter containing the following pieces of information:

     

    • Your name and contact information (as this process is not anonymous)

    • The name of the person the complaint is against and any contact information you may have for them (such as workplace      information)

    • A description of the events that occurred so that the College can easily determine the nature of the complaint, along with any relevant dates or names

    • What you would like to see as a resolution of this complaint

    • Any other relevant documents you feel may be helpful with this investigation


     


    Once the College has received a complaint, the Intake and Investigations Coordinator reviews your concern. The coordinator will call you back if they feel that they need more information, as well as to clarify with you if this matter is within the jurisdiction of the Complaints Committee to deal with.

    While discussing the matter, you might express a wish for assistance to resolve this matter locally and not have it go before the Complaints Committee. The Intake and Investigations Coordinator would help you with this.

    Once you have confirmed that you would like the complaint to go before the Complaints Committee, the Intake and Investigations Coordinator will prepare a Request to Initiate Investigation (RII) form for your signature. Once this is signed, the member in question will be notified of the complaint and given an opportunity to respond.



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    ​​How long does the complaints process take?


    The College is required to use its best efforts to dispose of a complaint within 120 days. However delays can occur when gathering information.  It is important to keep in mind that this can be a lengthy process.


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    First, you can use the College’s pu​blic register​ to try to determine if the person is a registered member of the College.  If this is not successful, you can submit your complaint to the College, with as much identifiable information as possible, so that the College can confirm the person’s membership.




    Complaints cannot be anonymous as the College may be required to contact the complainant for additional information or clarification.  Also, the member being complained against has a right to know who has filed the complaint in order to properly respond to it. Even if the complaint stems from an employer notification, the College is required to inform the member where it received its information.


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    The complaints process is designed to protect the confidentiality of all parties. However, the College cannot guarantee that the information supplied will always be kept confidential. Information or documents may be given to other individuals contacted during the course of investigation, for the purpose of obtaining their comment or response. 

    The decision of the Complaints Committee is only sent to the complainant and the respondent (the ECE), and if the respondent’s employer is a public school board, to the employer. Complaints are not made public on the College’s website or on the public register, unless a matter is referred by the Complaints Committee to the Discipline Committee.



    No, there is no time limit when filing a complaint. However, you should try to file a complaint as soon as possible while the events are still fresh in your mind, witnesses can be contacted and supporting documentation may be easier to access.

     

      

         The College has notified me that a complaint has been filed against me.However I do not wish to provide a statement or any further information. What will happen if I choose not to submit a response?​

     

    If a response is not received from the respondent within 30 days of being notified of the complaint, the complaint will go to the Complaints Committee with the information the College has received from the complainant and any other information gathered by the investigator. They will make a decision based on this information.


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    No, the College cannot confirm over the phone if a complaint has been filed.  If a complaint is filed against you, the College will notify you in writing.


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         I think someone might file a complaint against me. What can I do to protect myself?


    While the College cannot help members “protect” themselves, here are some proactive steps you can take:

    ·       Consider keeping notes regarding the situation you feel could result in a complaint. You may want to include things that you recall were said, or keep copies of any relevant paperwork.

    ·       Consider contacting any witnesses regarding the situation to support your version of events.

    ·       Consider discussing the situation with your supervisor or with management so that they are aware that a situation has occurred and perhaps they will be able to help resolve the situation locally.


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    Employer Concerns

          The Children's Aid Society (CAS) is investigating an incident at my centre. Do I need to inform the College?

     

    Regarding CAS investigations, you should follow your centre’s policies and procedures with respect to your responsibilities and how you should conduct yourself.  You are expected to cooperate with the CAS investigators. If you know of a child who may be in need of protection or of a child who has been abused, you must inform CAS of this according to the Child and Family Services Act .

    Employers are required to report to the College when a staff member is charged or convicted of an offence involving sexual conduct with minors or that, in your opinion, indicates that a child may be at risk of harm or injury.

    School boards are required to report to the College when an early childhood educator’s duties have been restricted or terminated by you for reasons of professional misconduct.

    While employers are obligated to report under the above circumstances, employers may also notify the College of any concerns they have about the conduct or actions of a member that they feel should be placed before a committee of the College for consideration.

     

         When am I required to report to the College?

     

    All centres are required to report to the College when a staff member is charged or convicted of an offence involving sexual conduct with minors or that, in your opinion, indicates that a child may be at risk of harm or injury (see section 49 of the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007).

    School boards are required to report when an early childhood educator’s duties have been restricted or terminated by you for reasons of professional misconduct (see section 277.50 of the Education Act).

    While employers are obligated to report under the above circumstances, employers may also notify the College of any concerns they have about the conduct or actions of a member that they feel should be placed before a committee of the College for consideration.


     

          One of my employees quit without notice. What should I do?


    If you feel that your employee failed to uphold an employment contract made with your centre, you may wish to contact the Ministry of Labour with your concerns. Legislation that may be relevant to your situation includes the Labour Relations Act, 1995, and the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

    If the employee quit in a manner that is unbecoming and unprofessional (including swearing, becoming violent and abandoning children), you may wish to file a complaint with the College.

    Generally, the College does not involve itself in employment issues, only in issues related to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity on the part of one of its members.

     

    Other Concerns


          There is an employee at the centre where I work who is not registered with the College and I am concerned. What can I do?


    If this person is calling themselves an ECE or RECE or engaging in the practice of early childhood education without being a registered member of the College, we recommend that you write a letter to the College, addressed to the Complaints and Discipline department. It should include the name of the person in question and the centre where they work, as well as your contact information. Also, if you have any documents with proof of improper use of the professional designations (ECE/RECE), such as a business card or a publication, that should be included as well. With this information, the College will investigate further.  




          I was just fired from my job. However, my employer had no right to fire me. This is unfair. What can the College do to help me?

     

    The College is unable to involve itself in matters of employment between centres and their staff. If you feel that you have been let go due to reasons of discrimination, you may want to contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre.  If you feel that the situation was unjust, you may want to consult the Employment Standards Information Centre with the Ministry of Labour.


     

           I am filling out the application form/renewal form and am unsure about the Declaration of Conduct section. I’m not sure if I should check “yes” for one of the statements.

     

    Put down the answer that you feel is the most correct answer. If you answer “yes” to any of the statements, please provide a detailed explanation on a separate piece of paper, which you may place in a sealed envelope labelled “confidential.” The College will consider and assess whether the conduct is significant.  A “yes” response does not necessarily make you ineligible for registration/renewal in the College. The College reserves the right to decide on an individual basis as to the possible impact of the conduct on the practice of the profession. College staff will follow up with you, in confidence, to obtain more information, should it be required.


     

           I am concerned that an employee at the centre where I work/that my child attends has been treating a child/the children in a manner which may constitute abuse. What should I do?

    You should consider speaking with the centre supervisor to find out their perspective on the matter and what action they will take.

    You should also consider contacting the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) in order to discuss your situation and better understand what you are required to report under Section 72 of the Child and Family Services Act. 
     
    If the person who is allegedly committing these acts is a member of the College, then you may also want to consider filing a complaint with the College as these actions may be considered professional misconduct.

     
     
     

         My employer does not follow ratio guidelines as laid out in the Day Nurseries Act and I’m worried this could put the children at risk.

     

    The Day Nurseries Act is regulated by the Ministry of Education. Therefore, you may want to consider calling the Ministry regarding your centre and the problems you are encountering there or filing a complaint with them. Should the Ministry determine that the employer acted inappropriately, and if the employer is a registered member of the College, the College would investigate further.


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          I am concerned that a centre is not following certain regulations and is now unsafe for children (lacking policies, poor maintenance, etc.)

     

    Centres are regulated by the Day Nurseries Act, which, in turn, is regulated by the Ministry of Education. Because of this, you may want to consider calling the Ministry and providing them with information regarding your centre and the problems you are encountering there or filing a complaint with them.  If the person responsible for putting these policies and procedures in place is a registered member of the College, and it is proven that they are putting children at risk by not carrying out their responsibilities, a complaint may be filed with the College, and the College would investigate further.


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    ​​Hearings​


         The complaint against me has been referred to a hearing. What happens now?​


    Once a complaint is referred, you will receive a Notice of Hearing (NOH) with the allegations. A version of the NOH is also posted on the College website to inform the public of the hearing. College counsel will get in touch with you or your legal representative, if you have one, to determine an appropriate date for the hearing. Counsel will also ask you how best the matter might be settled. You may request a pre-hearing conference, which the Hearings Coordinator will set up.


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         Do I need a lawyer if my matter has been referred to a hearing?

     

    It is advisable to consult with a lawyer and get one to represent you at the hearing. You may also represent yourself at the hearing. You could use the services of a lawyer to work out a settlement with College counsel or you may do this on your own.


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         Does the College provide legal counsel or legal advice?​


    The College does not provide legal counsel or legal advice to you. If you are unable to obtain legal counsel for financial reasons, you may want to consider contacting a legal clinic.

     If you are representing yourself, Independent Legal Counsel (ILC) to the committee and the Hearings Coordinator would assist you in terms of format and procedure during the hearing.


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         If the hearing committee finds me guilty of professional misconduct or finds me to be incompetent or incapacitated, what could happen?

     

    Following a finding by the Discipline or Fitness to Practise Committees, the Committee may make an order directing the Registrar of the College to do one or more of the following:

    ·       Revoke your Certificate of Registration (take away your certificate)

    ·       Suspend your certificate for a specific period of time

    ·       Place terms, conditions or limitations on your certificate (e.g. requiring you to take a course within a certain timeframe)

     

    In addition, for Discipline Committee matters, the Committee may order that a summary of the hearing results appear on your public register record, that the Committee’s full decision be published with your name on the College website and that a summary of the decision with your name be published in the College publication, Connexions.

     

    If there is no finding made, the Committee would take no further action and dismiss the case.


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               At my hearing, I was ordered to take a course of study. How do I go about this?

     

    The College has a list of course providers whose courses have been pre-approved by the Registrar. The Hearings Coordinator will provide you with the names of course providers in your geographical area, and you can make arrangements with one of them to take the course.  Alternatively, you may look for an appropriate course, submit the course outline and the name of the course provider to the College for approval. Once the Registrar approves the course, you may proceed to take the course and have the course provider send the College a certificate of successful completion.


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         Can I appeal decisions made by the Discipline Committee or the Fitness to Practise Committee?​


    You may appeal the Committee’s decision in Divisional Court within 30 days of the order of the Committee.  Information about appeals to Divisional Court can be found at 

    http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/divisional/Guide_to_Appeals_in_Divisional_Court_EN.pdf.


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