The Discipline Committee hears matters regarding allegations of professional misconduct and/or incompetence which have been referred by the Complaints Committee following investigation.
The College is mandated to publish a summary of its disciplinary decisions and reasons when the Discipline Committee makes a finding of guilt. These disciplinary decisions are then published on the College’s website, on our blog and on CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute’s website.
Ariana Belen Ontaneda
Facts: The Member pled guilty to professional misconduct. Following an uncontested hearing, the Discipline Committee accepted the following admissions as facts.
While transitioning a group of eight kindergarten aged children to the centre’s fenced playground, the member sent her colleague back into the centre to retrieve a first aid kit. The member failed to do a headcount, as required by the centre’s policies, and failed to notice that one of the children had opened the playground gate and left the playground. The member’s colleague returned 1-2 minutes later and asked where the child was. The member and her colleague began searching for the child. In the interim, the child had walked into oncoming traffic on a busy city road. Two drivers noticed the child in the road, pulled their cars to the curb and ran after the child to remove the child from the roadway. The police were called and one driver remained with the child until the centre’s Principal arrived. Three days after this incident, the member received a written warning from the centre reminding her of the expectation regarding appropriate supervision of children.
Less than a month later, the member and an ECA were responsible for supervising children in the centre’s toddler room, including a 3-year-old with special needs who left the room unnoticed after the member failed to notice that the safety gate leading to the hallway had been left open by a parent who had dropped off their child. The 3-year-old wandered into the senior preschool room and remained there supervised by another staff member until the member noticed the child was not in the toddler room, approximately 20 minutes later.
Finding: In its decision, the panel found that the evidence supported findings of professional misconduct.
The Member was found guilty of several acts of professional misconduct (Ontario Regulation 223/08), including failing to supervise adequately a person who was under her professional supervision; failing to maintain the standards of the profession; acting or failing to act in a manner that, having regard to the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional; and conducting herself in a manner that is unbecoming a member.
The Panel was especially concerned that the two incidents happened within a short time frame. The Panel noted that “the Member failed to take action to improve her professional practice after the first incident.” The Panel was also particularly concerned that both incidents involved children with special needs.
Penalty: The Committee directed the Registrar to suspend the Member’s certificate of registration for nine months and to impose terms, conditions and limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration. The Committee also required the Member to appear before it to be reprimanded and ordered the Member to pay $1,000 to reimburse the College for a portion of the prosecution and hearing costs.
The full decision can be found here, linked under the heading “Special Notices”.