After operating for more than three decades, a Charlottetown woman has been told to get a licence for her childcare business, but she can't get one in her current location.
Rosemary Compton began running a day care out of her home on Trafalgar St. 33 years ago. It started small, but has grown. She now has two other women working with her and they care for as many as 18 children.
According to provincial legislation, Compton needs a licence to care for more than six children. She said she'd be happy to get one, but she's in an area that's not zoned for daycares.
"It's been very emotional for me, I will either have to make a huge decision in the next few days," Compton told CBC News Tuesday.
"Whether to leap, jump and buy a daycare licensed facility, that I know probably won't be able fly because of no government funding, or scale back."
Compton said she has not bothered to get a license because the parents were happy. She said the current turmoil in child care on the Island, with kindergarten moving out of daycares and into the schools, makes this a particularly bad time for her to be scaling back.
"With the kindergarten situation changing and a lot of the daycares coming up for sale, or closing because they can't make a go of them without the kindergartens, there's going to be more and more need for a situations like I have," she said.
The province only recently found out Compton's daycare was operating without a licence. Carolyn Simpson, manager the Early Childhood Programs for the province, said it's impossible to know how many other home daycares are operating illegally.
"We would never know that, unless of course, sometimes the people who are providing the childcare at home will call and say, you know, is this OK? Sometimes parents will call us," said Simpson.
Simpson said in most cases operators are not aware that they require a licence.
Compton has two weeks to decide whether to move to an area the city zoned for daycares or scale back to just 6 children.