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One Stop Kid Shop helps parents find homes, centers and caregivers who offer child care services in Regina. Photo By Busayo Osobade.

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. A woman has been arrested in Russia for beheading a girl and setting her parents’ house ablaze. A CCTV video in Moscow shows the woman, believed to be the victim’s nanny, carried the severed child’s head into the city’s metro station.

Hearing about this, Tania Korpus Moller, owner of One Stop Kid Shop in Regina described the incident as a “terrible occurrence with shock and horror.” She wonders what the parents of the child are going through now and advises parents/guardians to conduct their research before allowing a stranger take care of their kid(s).

One Stop Kid Shop is an online resource for parents to find homes, childcare centres and caregivers who offer child care services in Regina.

“I believe it is important to interview a prospective childcare provider, ask specific questions, visit the facility/location to see the environment in person, and most important, obtain references from current and past clients,” said Moller.

She said parents should ask for references and criminal record checks. “Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict such terrible events, but utilizing government-licensed daycare providers may offer additional support and comfort,” said Moller.

The video showed the woman, dressed in a black burkha with the severed child’s head in her hand, shouting that she was a terrorist. Russian police however said that the case is yet to be “terror-related” and that they believe the suspect is not mentally sound.

Russian authorities did not identify the woman but said she is a native of a Central Asian country. Investigators said she would undergo a psychiatric examination to determine if she understands the implications of her actions.

Bola Ogunyale, a Regina resident and mother of an eight-month old baby said hiring a nanny has never been an option she would consider and that she is more comfortable taking care of her baby herself.

“To me, nanny is a big no; you can never trust a nanny. I saw a video last year of a nanny maltreating a baby, pulling her hair and hitting her and now this horrible thing happened. I don’t have fear using any child care service in Canada, because it is still safer (than hiring a nanny),” said Ogunyale.

Don Giesbrecht, CEO of the Canadian Child Care Federation, said there is nothing specific about confirming the mental health of a child care giver within any of the regulations because Canadian authorities, like in most Western countries, are usually careful not to discriminate against people.

“It’s part of the human rights legislation in Canada that you can’t specifically exclude somebody because they might have a mental health issue. I don’t believe it’s legal to go down that road and ask those questions. That would have to be something that the parent has to make their own assessment.

(But) if someone is uncomfortable with their child care provider, they should take appropriate steps and deal with it. You need to bring that up with the executive director and resolve the issue,” he said.

Cindy Jeanes, director of child care services for the province, said part of the initial licensing processing before starting a child care home includes a family assessment interview.

“Some of the questions will be specific to mental and physical demand in relation to caring for children and how the applicant will actually manage those,” said Jeanes.

“If there is something in that assessment that is of concern for us, we do have the ability to go further and ask for references and we can obtain additional information just to ensure that the child care home is going to be a good fit for that provider and for the benefit of the children that will be in the home,” she said.

The percentage of Canadian children in some type of child care has increased in recent years.

“In 2011, almost half (46 per cent) of parents reported using some type of child care for their children aged 14 years and younger in the past year,” Statistics Canada reports.