Heart of the Family Suspended Daycare Board Member Roy Stephenson Declares That They Are Back Open in Cornwall Ontario

Heart of the Family Suspended Daycare Board Member Roy Stephenson Declares That They Are Back Open in Cornwall Ontario
Facebook Photo of Christina Stephenson & Wanda Hunt Gareau

CFN – Facebook is lit up in Cornwall Ontario as members of the Heart of the Family team are abuzz stating that the daycare that was shut down is now back open.  ORIGINAL STORY LINK

From the Daycare’s Facebook page:

It is with GREAT pleasure we announce that Heart of the family is OPEN!!!! We wish to thank all our parents for your support during this difficult time….Our babies are coming home  We will be contacting all families tomorrow , you can also call the centre for details tomorrow at any time during the day…..

Roy Stephenson

Pastor Stephenson is on the board of HOTF and Christina Stephenson’s husband.


Heart of the Family was shut down after severe allegations, and an investigation led by one of Cornwall’s  finest narcotics investigators.

It rocked the community of over 46,000 people with many coming out either for or against management.   Many families were clearly upset as they had no real alternative and their jobs were threatened.

CFN has received no word on any results of the investigations nor if Ms Christina Stephenson is back in charge as the notice from the Ministry stated that she was not to be present with the children.   A source said at least two staffers were not returning.

List of conditions required for reopening


CFN has also discovered that after it had been shut down on that Friday night that a meeting had been held at the church where staff were told that their salaries would be paid for one week and several were given gift cards.

Allegations were also made that a list provided to police was incomplete.   Staff apparently were also warned by police not to talk with media.

It was also stated that several staff were giving care to kids privately as many of the families had no alternative day care.

Heart of the Family is the largest daycare in Cornwall and the only one offering 24/7 care.

Ms Stephenson, Mr. Stephenson and former director Chelsea Raso all refused to respond to CFN’s phone calls and messages.   Ms Stephenson, Ms Wanda Gareau and Mr. Stephenson blocked CFN within minutes of our sending them a FB request for comment as this story was being written.

The Ministry site still shows HOTF as suspended.   LINK  No statements have been issued by the ministry, CAS, or Police as of press time.

We will be updating this story as more information becomes available.

UPDATE 10AM  Thursday June 13th

Cornwall Police confirmed that the Police Investigation is ongoing and has not been closed.

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91 Responses to "Heart of the Family Suspended Daycare Board Member Roy Stephenson Declares That They Are Back Open in Cornwall Ontario"

  1. Sick of Stupidity   June 12, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    I don’t know. Pretty severe allegations seemed to be cleared up a little too quick. Glad that I don’t bring my children there, no only because of the allegations but because of all the back and forth fighting that went on. Scary. Parents proceed only with extreme caution. ZERO TOLERANCE. Our children are precious. HOTF seem a little too smiley and a little too quick to be back Hmmmmm.

  2. Anne   June 12, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Wow! Real professional language from an educator! That makes me want to take my child there – NOT!

  3. Starface   June 12, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    I wonder if Judy will be selling her new sinks on mom swap?…haha

  4. J.stuart   June 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    I am sure that the Ministry would find the comments from the Program Supervisor Wanda very interesting. If you look at their Facebook and all the fooling around with the staff, such as posing inside cribs combine that with the comments of Wanda, it does not make me think that management took this temporary closure serious enough.

    I would rather see management and staff eager to prove these allegations wrong, rather then shrug this off as “this aint no thing.” Its nothing to be proud of that the entire staff needed CPR training along with behaviour management training.

    Lets not forget that the Police investigation is ongoing and no word from CAS yet.

  5. jock   June 13, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    “Allegations“ are just THAT. And apparently after further investigation and fulfilling some requirements, the place meets and exceeds ministry standards. So what, now YOU are making an allegation that the MINistry is corrupt? Wow. That IS stupid!!

  6. Not To Sure...   June 13, 2013 at 4:49 AM

    Has the ministry even had time to come back down to remove those papers, and re inspect???

  7. H.Mcdonald   June 13, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Yes the papers are down. I can not wait for my little girl to return to heart of the family!!

  8. Leena.C   June 13, 2013 at 7:28 AM

    Let’s clear some things up…Staff were not warned by police not to speak to the media just advised that it might be a good idea not to speak to CFN (Seems to me as if you don’t have a very good reputation with the cornwall police; bummer). The staff as a group went to the church Sunday morning following the closure to support the Director by attending the service that morning. Chelsea Raso was never a Director (LOL)… You wrote this article very fast. That’s why nothing has ever been given to you. The Standard Freeholder reports the news, you sir create it.

  9. OUTSIDE/VIEWER   June 13, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    Funny how when they were closed the ministry was the good guys and they know EXACTLY what there doing ! But know they have deemed the allegations false, and re opened the center, yet “it all seems a little to quick” when you close a place down for false allegations with no solid proof of any wrong doings, it doesnt take to long to rectify things. And as for this comment “Ms Stephenson, Mr. Stephenson and former director Chelsea Raso all refused to respond to CFN’s phone calls and messages.” – come on jamie , get the facts straight , chelsea raso was NEVER the director at HOTF, she was a program supervisor. Glad a little light will now shine down on this situation and we will be able to see where the allegations came from , and i hope the individual responsible is held fully accountable for thier actions.

  10. J.stuart   June 13, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    Like everyone said before, the staff was not the main issue. It was Chris. She is not allowed on the property while kids are their plus she is still under police investigation. No one wanted to see this place shut down it hurt to many people. Former staff and the parents who complained just wanted to see the daycare out of the negligent hands. Also if there are charges laid I am sure Roy and Chris will be removed along with the board.

    Also I am almost positive that they have a temporary licence while they are under investigation. The Ministry has all sorts of temporary licences they give out at different times.

    Luckily we live in a society where one does not easily get away with falsifying documents, or shredding the ones that think might get us in trouble.

    At least for now many can rest easy knowing that the Ministry and CAS will be monitoring the HOTF very closely. Personally I cant wait to see other shoe drop and find out what the police investigation uncovered.

  11. Melanie Leger   June 13, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    They have not “deemed the allegations false”… where do you get your info? They have completed the list of required duties therefore the Ministry finds that it is safer to open the daycare now. However, the investigation is still ongoing.

  12. New-to-the-story   June 13, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    “Heart of the Family was shut down after severe allegations, and an investigation led by one of Cornwall’s finest narcotics investigators.” — What is this? I just started to follow this story, but it seems like is going a little tabloid now, HOTF wont give a statement so were making news now?

  13. OUTSIDE/VIEWER   June 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    @ Melanie Leger @ j. stuart – Not sure where your information comes from, but im confident that veryyyy shortly you will both eat your words. This Thread will turn into a witch hunt like the last one did, out for the stevensons with personal issues with them, nothing to do with the centre, but monitor this story closly in the next few days to come, as long as the “moderator” gets his facts straight ( which he cant seem to do), i think youll see that things at heart are going to go back to normal, now THAT story will be the one to watch , and as for “charges” bieng laid, now that the name of the accusor has been released, i think Ms. Raso may have her own questions to answer!

  14. Tom   June 13, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    …. oh, maybe Mr and Mrs Stephenson’s Son… who is on our good old Police Force, had something to do with this.

  15. Someone   June 13, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Just shows how much people in this town have no life!!!!!! Get off your butts and get off the PC!!!! The are reasons for everything that happens in life. The doors got the re-opened for a good reason!!!! Instead of pointing fingers at HOTF look at yourself everyone on here is being a animal!!!

  16. Melanie Leger   June 13, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Eat what words? I never said anything bad about them reopening. Good for them for getting things done quickly and being able to reopen. If the Ministry deems it a safe environment for children then I fully support that. They know what they are doing. However, no where does it state that they have reopened because allegations have been proven false… eat your own words.

  17. admin   June 13, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    We just published the update that the investigation is still ongoing.

  18. John Doe   June 13, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    J. Stuart and M. Leger, I guess since the centre is now reopening you feel it necessary to personally attack Mr. & Mrs. Stephenson. that is so pathetic, what happens when the next shoe drops and there is nothing to report, are you going to fabricate something else? Tom, I am 100% sure that Constable Stephenson had nothing to do with this. Get a life people, why is it that with this town there are a certain amount of people that cannot stand when someone or something is successful, they always have to find fault or conspiracies somewhere! No wonder the population has been 46,000 for so long….

  19. John Doe   June 13, 2013 at 9:22 AM


    Please clarify when you say that the investigation is ongoing. Is it the Ministry one or police.

  20. J.stuart   June 13, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    the freeholder is a comminity calender not a newspaper. how they handled the Glen stor dun lodge, and the whistleblower at the fire department prove this.

    for ppl getting their info from multiple sources it is common knowledge that the investigations are still on going. melaine leger is correct in her statement. the hotf is not yet of the hook for anything yet.

  21. Melanie Leger   June 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Wth are you talking about John Doe? Where have I personally attacked Mr. or Mrs. Stephenson on here?

  22. admin   June 13, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    John as per the update in the story the Cornwall Police confirmed that their investigation is ongoing.

  23. John Doe   June 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM


    where does this statement come from?

    Wanda Gareau Hunt
    10 minutes ago
    One day mothaaa fXXXXXXX

  24. admin   June 13, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    That was a screen cap from her FB page.

  25. Lori Harquail Roberts   June 13, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Oh, come on!!!! Some of you people are pathetic! None of you use cuss words?? Why are you resorting to creeping people’s personal FB pages? Jamie, I told you in another thread that the people you wanted statements from were probably advised by their legal counsel not to speak with you or anyone for that matter. I wasn’t far off, was I? When the police tell them not to talk, that says a lot!! How does this not make sense to you people?? The police investigation may still be ongoing, but why are you so quick to assume that they’re investigating the Stephensons? Has it ever occurred to you that they may be investigating Chelsey Raso, the ONE parent who made allegations and the trouble makers who convinced this parent to file a complaint A YEAR after the fact?? Is it a coincidence that this parent’s kids now attend Judy Rose’s center? I think not.

    Those of you who are insinuating that the Stephenson’s police officer son had ANYTHING to do with this investigation are out if your minds. He wouldn’t have had access to ANYTHING related to the investigation due to conflict of interest. You people already know that though. I’ll echo what someone else said. You’re on a witch hunt & JStuart, I still believe that you are somehow personally involved in this whole fiasco. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    HOTF is open & will remain open. Deal with it.

  26. DENNIS J.   June 13, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    All that work and go there are freaks plain and simple. Just look at how Wanda looks, dresses and acts. No care for children and no class. Way to go lol!

  27. J.Stuart   June 13, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I was just on the Ministry website. If you look they still say their legal status is suspended. Thus they have a temporary licence at the moment. http://www.iaccess.gov.on.ca/LCCWWeb/childcare/searchResultsDetail.xhtml

    Here are the current terms of their temp licence, sounds a lot like
    what was posted on their door when they were shut down.

    “The operator shall ensure that the Child Care Licensing Poster and the Licensing Inspection Summary are posted in a conspicuous place in the day nursery at or near an entrance commonly used by parents. The operator shall ensure that the completed Licensing Checklist and the Summary of Licensing Requirements and Recommendations sheets are readily available for parents.
    Operator shall ensure that toddlers eat lunch and snacks in their own program rooms, rather than being moved to a common room.Operator shall ensure that regular program staff stay with children during lunch times, taking their own lunch breaks when children are napping.
    The operator must ensure that regular bathroom routines are included in the preschoolers daily program and that children are accompanied by staff at all times.”

    Operator shall ensure that regular program staff stay with children during lunch times, taking their own lunch breaks when children are napping.
    The operator must ensure that regular bathroom routines are included in the preschoolers daily program and that children are accompanied by staff at all times during those bathroom routines.”

    Must concern parents that this must be outlined to these “professionals” in this feild.

  28. Lori Harquail Roberts   June 13, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Hmm… I see nothing close to what CFN claimed Wanda posted on her PERSONAL FB page. Why are you SO determined to pick out every little thing you perceive as negative??? Why no screen shots of all the positive things that were said & done? Those of you bashing Wanda onviously don’t know her at all. She is one of the kindest, most professional people I’ve ever had the pleasure to deal with… 20 years ago and presently. She wouldn’t have taught the ECE Program at St Lawrence College if she was such a terrible person. Get a grip. This was a very frustrating, sad, and trying time for the employees of HOTF. So frigging what if the girls took funny pics while they were busting their butts revamping the center?? They’re human beings and have the right to let off a bit of steam just like every other normal human being does! They were obviously making the best out of a terrible situation & their attitude in the face of such adversity only strengthens my faith in them! So what if none of them were laid
    off? So what if they had a meeting in the church? So what if they were given gift cards?? Stop looking for excuses to keep persecuting HOTF. Quit creeping people’s personal FB pages in an attempt to get your “news”. You look ten times worse than
    HOTF ever did! As for the Standard Freeholder… At least they reported the facts & not their personal opinions or assumptions.

  29. Jazzman   June 13, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    So admin…you say the

    “Wanda Gareau Hunt
    10 minutes ago
    One day mothaaa fXXXXXXX”

    statement was a screen cap from Wanda’s PERSONAL facebook page?? So why would you post that here in this story…if it was not on the HOTF page than how do you know that her status has ANYTHING to do with this story?? Or are you just trying to fabricate more tabloid news and feed the consipiracy theorists that seem to be the majority of posters on any of your controversial “stories”??

  30. Lori Harquail Roberts   June 13, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    …And if the staff were given gift cards, maybe it’s because they went above & beyond what is expected of them. I doubt painting walls & revamping classrooms aren’t in their job descriptions.

  31. petzx2   June 13, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    that’s quite odd … wanda is on my facebook and i have not seen or read anything pertaining to the comment about “One day mothaaa fXXXXXXX” and i have been following this from the beginning. that is not something wanda would say let alone put on her facebook page. unlike some people who write/talk like that … other’s have some class … have a good day

  32. petzx2   June 13, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    i did come across what you were talking about in my news feed but i know for a fact, it was not on wanda’s page d.a.

  33. admin   June 13, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Lori thanks to your comment and a few others we have loaded Wanda’s fb cap from an image sent in from a viewer. CFN does not “make up” news.

  34. J.stuart   June 13, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Good for you Jamie for posting that fb post. Not very professional or sincere at all. She obviously deleted it in shame after this story broke, that is why none of you could see it. Also I have noticed that no one has touched upon the FACTS I posted above.

  35. admin   June 13, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    CFN focuses on telling the truth. I know that’s rare in media. Our Mission Statement. http://cornwallfreenews.com/mission-statement-contact-us/.

  36. 2Funny   June 13, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    At what point is a fb status news worthy lol? Who’s to say her comments were any way related to this situation? I find this ridiculous!!! And as for the comments regarding professionals needing to have requirements spelled out for them…uhhh duh…that’s what the Ministry does…gives specific direction on how to ensure that these issues don’t arise again…

    …going to post some swear words for a fb status and see if they are news worthy! ;0)

  37. J.stuart   June 13, 2013 at 12:41 PM


    Once again you rush to defend someone without the entire information. Wanda was a teacher at the college for ECE however she was not showing up to teach her classes for whatever reason. And after many student complaints she was not fired but however asked to “leave” and shortly after she mysteriously got her job back at the HOTF.

  38. Sick of Stupidity   June 13, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    @ J stuart

    “The Standard Freeholder is a community calendar” LMAO!!!! You are so very true on that one!!!!!

  39. Lori Harquail Roberts   June 13, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    JStuart – So what’s your big concern with what the Ministry is requiring HOTF to do? Remember, the investigation is ongoing & pretty serious ALLEGATIONS were made.

    I often drop off my granddaughter at snack time in the morning. The children have always been in the classroom with their teachers present and the door locked from the outside. As far as bathroom issues go, the staff at HOTF played an integral part in my granddaughter’s potty training. They insisted that she not wear “pull ups” & for us to make sure she had several changes of clothing. When she did have accidents, the staff WASHED her soiled clothing & put it in a plastic bag. Never was she allowed to go the bathroom by herself. You’re just grasping at straws & making yourself look foolish.

    So HOTF is open with a temporary license. Again, big deal. They’re open, are they not? Is that why you’re so ticked off? You claim that Cornwall needs HOTF, yet you keep slamming them. Make up your mind.

    I’m certain that many positive changes will be implemented & I welcome those changes.

    Jamie, I don’t care what you post “thanks to my comments”. Whatever you claimed was on Wanda’s PERSONAL FB page is not there now. I never said you “make up” news, but your reporting methods are a bit unorthodox & that’s putting it mildly. I see how you have your little clique… Your little following on here. Probably the same people who were with you when you caused such a sh*t show at city hall. Why don’t you just stick to reporting the FACTS like a professional you claim to be & keep your personal opinions to yourself?

  40. admin   June 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Lori, this isn’t an attack. Facebook has settings. If you have your fb page open then anyone can see it. Anything on FB is public domain.

  41. Lori Harquail Roberts   June 13, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Here is a perfect example of allowing your anger toward those who did not wish to speak with you supersede your credibility as a “reporter” – You filing this story under “Crimes”. Has anyone been charged with a crime??? There may be charges laid, but I doubt they’ll be against the Stephensons or any present employee of HOTF. As I said earlier, if I felt that you were a little more trustworthy & not so quick to jump the gun, I would gladly share the plethora of inside info I have. It would shut an awful lot of you up, that’s for sure. 🙂

  42. Brandi   June 13, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Thanks to the ministry for implementing measures that don’t allow daycare’s to put children in danger! I hope that the on going investigations by the police and C.A.S don’t have any further negative findings. However the fact that the staff had to compete hours of training isn’t a glowing compliment.The ministry is very prudent when it comes to suspending a day cares license and Heart of the Family had numerous serious infractions.Its a shame that Roy Stephenson and the board did not follow through on their earlier claims. HOTF s legal name Cornwall compassion center inc. is an arms length entity of Harvest Christian Church. Pastor Roy stated that HOTF would be run SEPARATELY from the church and be staffed with TRAINED PROFESSIONALS. Yet from its infancy its board is chalk full of friends and church members. Then a Executive Director is replaced with his wife Christina Stephenson who isnt even an E.C.E nor has any formal education. Proving its not WHAT you know but WHO you know. Have you seen the REAL WORLD qualifications for an Executive Director! How embarrassing to make a statement “Thanks to Chris Stephenson and Wanda Hunt for a job well done” REALLY! They are the same management that under which HOTF was Shut Down! A Real professional and Educated Executive director holds the ministry and it regulations in high regard.Program Supervisor Wanda Hunts choice words are very telling of her professional conduct “One day mothaaa fxxxxxxxx!” WOW! Thats shows the zero amount of respect or sensitivity to the circumstances Heart of the Family day care finds themselves.Perhaps some Anger management Training is in order for Ms Wanda 🙁 Thank God that HOTF will now be under close scrutiny by the ministry cause apparently the entire management lacks Professionalism. As for the community where 24/7 daycare is desperately necessary Im hopeful with the ministry forcing HOTF to tow the line…children will be safely cared for<3

  43. admin   June 13, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Lori I have no bone in this story. We covered it; factually. End of. I have never met any of the Stephensons to my knowledge nor stepped foot in their school.

    Whenever police are involved in a story we list it under crimes.

    And if HOTF are cleared of all charges we will print that too. The fact that the Stephensons and their rabid supporters are turning this into some “us” and “them” thing has nothing to do with CFN and our coverage. Again, our Mission Statement is quite clear about giving everyone a voice. If some people refuse to use theirs it’s not our fault.

  44. Grace   June 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Wow the truth must really sting. HOTF is open and now accusations are flying that the Ministry, The Police Dept and CAS are all corrupt and covering up and putting children at risk?? Give me a flipping break. It is sad that people have nothing better to do then fabricate crap in there little narrow minds. As if they would be permitted to open if there was any factual evidence that children would be at risk. All the naysayers can join a support group and whine about how bad and corrupt the system is. “Sinks for Sale” !!

  45. Lori Harquail Roberts   June 13, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    JStuart – How is it that you seem to have so much personal information about all these employees at HOTF?? Just because MY truth doesn’t jive with YOUR truth, does not make my experiences with Wanda, Chris, HOTF, Judy Rose, etc. any less real.

    Wanda posted that she was having family issues. None of us know what goes on behind closed doors, so unless you know ALL the facts, kindly keep your propaganda to yourself.

  46. J.stuart   June 13, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    The city needs the HOTF, they don’t need the Stephenson’s. I would like to see their involvement end, and their board of close friends dismantled .

    Also thank you to Brandi, comments like these need to come out and hopefully drown out the nonsense.

  47. Lori Harquail Roberts   June 13, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    You’re right, Jamie & I do wish more people would speak up. I’d also appreciate not being called names. A rabid supporter??? This is exactly what I mean when I speak about lack of professionalism. Please… Do you think anyone is going to believe that you’re just an unbiased reporter trying to do his job when you resort to name-calling?? It’s SO blatantly obvious that you DO have a bone to pick not only with the Stephensons, but with their supporters as well, and if you really want to get diwn to the nitty gritty, I’ve been attacked by your supporters from the moment I first posted in your forum. It was people like JStuart who turned this into an “us” against “them” deal & I called those people out as soon as I realized that they didn’t give a crap about anything other than playing the “one up” game.

  48. J.stuart   June 13, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I have information Lori because I chose to investigate rather than speculate. You should try it. Also Wanda’s issues did not seem to interfere with her taking a full time job rather then to teach a few classes a week. Seems like it would be a lot more stressful to be a program supervisor and a lot more demanding…

  49. admin   June 13, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Especially since tax dollars were contributed to the creation of HOTF. “IF” the current management team is an issue then it has to be replaced. Cornwall does need at least one night time daycare.

  50. Anonymous-Jane   June 13, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Thank you Brandi. Couldn’t have said it better!

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