Parenting

Daycare-You Are The Voice For Your Children

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Daycare

Daycare is not something Mrs.CBB and I are worried about at the moment but for those of you that are parents that might be a different story. You don’t really read up about kids when you don’t have kids, well at least I don’t unless it’s something that is brought to my attention. I tend to thrive on “How To” articles and DIY projects that I need to get done around the house because I enjoy learning about these topics.

This post mostly comes after friends of our divulged how much they were paying out for their 1 year old child to go to a licensed daycare. They also told us how they struggled to find a spot and weren’t sure if they were going to be able to get their child into the daycare as they were put on a waiting list. I asked what other options they had and the first one was to bring their child to family. They chose the daycare for the day-to-day interaction so their child had the opportunity to interact with other children. Luckily for them a spot opened up.

Are parents really in the dark though about who’s looking after their kids?Apparently so, according to CBC Marketplace who conducted a survey of 1000 Canadians 18 years of age or older that had a child under the age of 13. The survey was conducted in order to provide information for their “daycare information in Canada” episode which aired this past Friday.

According to the survey, just 20% of children are finding spots in Canada in a licensed daycare. Non-licensed day cares have one rule and that is they are only allowed 5 children. Does it matter to you if the home is safe? Do you care who comes and goes? Do you care if the house is clean or if they are smoking around the kids in the home? Do you care where your kids sleep? Do you care if your childcare provider has safety training? I’m hoping most parents by now if you are reading this are saying “of course we care“. Even if your child is in an unlicensed facility making sure you have answers to your questions is imperative. I’m sure some parents believe that getting into a licensed daycare won’t be that difficult when it comes time to head back to work. It shouldn’t be and it’s a shame waiting lists are so long.

Childcare researcher Martha Friendly who appears in the episode said it best when she  says “it’s different when you are taking care of other people’s children”. I agree it’s a big responsibility some are willing to take on. Not all non-licensed home-based daycares or daycare centres are illegal (have more than 5 children) but the reality is they are not getting inspected by the government like all other licensed daycares where inspectors come in and go over a list of requirements. According to the show, daycare home inspectors will come into licensed daycares and check over the entire place from top to bottom.

Some requirements in a licensed day care 
  1. Credentials
  2. Schedules
  3. Health and safety of the environment ie: baby gates on all stair access and smoke detectors that work.
  4. First Aid/CPR

All licensed facilities require providers to have a police background check…. 66% of the parents surveyed said no they did not have a police check done or they didn’t knowYou won’t get these inspections in unlicensed daycares and according to the survey most parents did not know if the child care provider had first aid or CPR. 

The one unlicensed day care provider in the program didn’t even know what the proper number was to call for an emergency a number she said, “991”A simple error, maybe but it’s not like she was nervous to be on camera, they were undercover. She didn’t even have any safety training which she didn’t feel necessary because she’s been watching kids for years. Oh and nap time consisted of sleeping in a dungeon like room likely with cob webs, dust and who knows what else (it was hard to tell)  in a so-called area (basement) of the home with no windows or outdoor access. You should be shaking your head in disbelief because clearly this is the kind of care that is going on in some home daycares in Ontario because they “can” get away with it. 

How Much is Daycare in Ontario?

Good question but you can pay as little as $25 a day + for unlicensed or up to $45 per day or more in a licensed day care.I made a few phone calls and simply read online ads in the area. Your best bet is to call around, research the facilities and visit these places. The friend of ours I spoke of above pays $1100 a month in a licensed day care facility for their child which I was in awe about. This is what sparked my question the other day on Facebook for my fans. I wanted to know what parents pay for daycare in their area.

I thought $1100 was outrageous but not any longer after watching this timely episode. Some of the fans on my Facebook page say they paid $30 per day or $150 per week with reference to not getting penalized for school holidays like a licensed daycare centre would. Other moms felt it wasn’t worth it for them to return to work given their tax bracket and other factors so they are stay at home moms many of whom go on to homeschool their children.

According to the show, “over 757 complaints were made reporting unlicensed daycares in the past 3 years for having too many kids”. I bet, it’s a lucrative business when you can stuff 10 kids in a home raking in thousands of dollars a month and in some cases it’s all cash under the table, so no taxes are being paid. Did you ask all the right questions when you were searching for your child care provider? One woman in the episode went as far as to say she was licensed when she was not and had only 8 kids when in fact she had many more. Don’t believe everything you hear, I don’t care how nice they are.

Mrs.CBB has a friend who has her Early Childhood Education (ECE), First aid, CPR and the parents loved her and with good reason, she was good at what she did, she played by the rules. She ran a licensed daycare while she was home caring for her own child. She went on to become a teacher in Ontario and no longer does home daycare. Are parents as worried that their own family members might not have ECE, First Aid or CPR like we require in licensed facilities? A question you can only answer yourself. 

Should You Wait To Have Kids When You Can Afford Them?

Kids cost a lot of money that’s no secret and some individuals simply don’t ever want to have children and that’s OK too. Sure I’ve heard if we wait until we can afford them we will never have them. The answer to this is really up to the individuals as no one can make this decision but them because they know their own situation better than anyone else. I don’t think there is any right or wrong answer.

When I was growing up I don’t really recall any of my friends having their moms go to work. We didn’t live the kind of lifestyle that we do today where we have to have it all, it was a minimalist type of living because it was more important for moms to stay home and give that one on one care to the kids in the early years where it is so important. Times have changed now though where both parents have to head out to work in order to pay the mortgage, rent, bills, school tuition etc but there are many people who do stay home with the kids. Why are some not able to stay home and others can? It all depends on lifestyle, debt, career choice and likely a bunch of other personal factors but that’s up to the parents to decide.

  1. Can I be a stay at home mom/dad for my children?
  2. Am I able to qualify for childcare subsidy in Ontario?
  3. How will I pay for my child to go to a daycare?

People are struggling to pay the bills living pay to pay as costs are rising especially all around us even when it comes to having kids. One mom blew me away with the figures she provided for us for her 3 kids over the long haul. She sounds pretty excited though to see the payments coming down as time passes but I’m sure every penny was worth it for her kids.

We pay $110 a week for 2-3 days for our Senior Kindergarten child to attend daycare, $40-$60/week for before and after school for our 5 yr old and $50/week for before/after school for our 7 yr old. Around $840/month. In Sept, we’ll be down to $400/month for both! So far, we have spent around $80,000.00. Yikes!

Parents clearly need more licensed daycare facilities in Ontario and the provincial government needs to get moving to help create more licensed facilities. Until then parents will continue to scramble trying to figure out who is going to watch their kids and pray they make the right decisions.

Peekaboo, I Can See My Child In This Licensed Child Car Centre

I wanted to do some research on different daycare centres in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding cities and came across this facility which I found interesting enough to talk about it today.

Peekaboo Child Care with centres in and around the GTA allows you to watch your children via Video Over the Internet (VOI) for a monthly fee of course. Once registered with Peekaboo the parent receives a parent handbook that has many questions answered for the parent as well as policies and procedures. They also get a bi-annual progress report and parent-teacher interviews. It’s nice to read that the facility has many common questions that parents ask already answered so they can simply read to find out what they want to know.

Although we don’t have any children I certainly learned plenty from watching this program and know when the time comes we’ll be doing our daycare homework so we can get the highest of quality care and be the voice for our children.

You can read the full marketplace story here and if you have time watch the episode on the television, it’s worth it.

Should there be a standardized set of rules and requirements for all daycares in Canada?

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