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  1. #1
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    A few questions about ratios and getting help

    So I am amazed about how quick things go. Juts a few months ago I was worried about having 2 spots to fill and now I'm actually turning great families down

    One of my families had advised me that they were looking to relocate closer to work. So okay since I had only planned taking for kids ( since I have 2 of my own to care fore) I tought I will fill the spot right away. I did not know when the child would leave and I had 2 child starting only in the winter time. Now it looks like they are NOT going to leave. So I am a little worried about having my hand to full with a total of 7 kids (inlcuding mine) as of December. 2 will be 12 months, 3 almost 2 years and my own of 3.5.

    So first off, I am wondering if I will need help. Right now with five I can handle it pretty well. The children eat well, sleep well and are well behaved. Ofcourse they are kids so it's not easy but it's good. For those who have children of their own in care, what number do you stick too ?

    Secondly, I had been pondering about terminating the family that was going to leave. The child is great but the parents are so inconsistent. They keep forgetting to bring some clothing, forms, whatever. He is the first one in and last one out when I know the parents are leaving him in care 3 hours more than they actualy NEED. Which is not a good reason for terminating but has been agrevating me. So I oculd just terminate them based on the fact that I was expecting them to leave. Just does not seem fair however.

    Third is that if I do get help here and there. How does it work with insurances ?? I am in Ontario.

    Thanks for your help once again ladies !

  2. #2
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    You are within your ratios, it really just comes down to what you are comfortable with. I have two children of my own (1 1/2 yr old and 3 yr old) and I currently care for 3 children full time and 1 child part time, and I'm looking to add another full time. The children I'm currently caring for are 1- 1 1/2 years old. I'm comfortable with this because my 3yr old goes to preschool two days a week for a full day and my pt child is here only two days a week, so I only have one day a week where I have to care for 7 children (once I get my other ft spot filled).

    I think I would hold off terminating anyone until you decide whether or not you can handle all the children.
    I'm not sure what the rules are regarding help, but I'm sure you can find info on the Revenue Canada site or something like that.

  3. #3
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    Thanks bookworm, I know I"m in the ratio I was just concerned more about if I can handle it. I think I can but I wanted to know what's the average people are comforable with. Also to have 7 little ones in the winter time, going outside would take a lot of work... That's what I"m most afraid of.

    I think I'll call my insurance company to see if I can have help and if she is covered for any liability.

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    You have 2 of your own children right? You know that you can only have 5 I'm sure. That's a handful but I know a lot of great providers who can do it. I wouldn't want to do it myself, hehe, but it can be done and done well. Routine and organization are the keys so that you never take your eyes off them. Set out your creative activities the night before or in the morning as they are arriving, prep your food the night before and use the crockpot or other combo meals as much as you can, don't worry about enertaining them nonstop. Children need to play and they are learning as they play so schedule freeplay at least a few hours a day and relax.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Momof4. So far with 5 children I can handle it pretty well. I get activites in and have a moment to sit and take a break here and there. I do prep. most of my activites and food in the PM and LOVE the crockpot. I should be getting a second one It helps that the kids I have are doing so great so far too. I am worried about what parents will say as I did tell them I was only taking 4 and at the beginning 3 of them where part time. Now one is full time and the other 2 at 4 days/week... Biz is a booming To keep the traffic down I've been doing some stations ... Seems to work. Anyway, I guess I'll try and see what is my true limit. If I can handle it GOOD, if I can't then I'll just ben honest with the parents. I have time to find a few game plan.

  6. #6
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    I agree that only you know your limits ~ in Ontario you are legally allowed to have 5 daycare children of any age in addition to however many of your own you may have and lots of providers are able to manage with 5 plus 2,3 or even 4 of their own children without any help at all.

    Personally after having worked in ratios as high as 1:12 I prefer 5 as my maximum and actually just noticed this past summer that 4 children is 'perfect' for me in ways of ability to truly thrive in the program with minimal stress because there is not the odd man out syndrome of 5 children to be dealt with all day ~ they seem to either play nicely together or they naturally pair up into playgroups of 2 and no one gets excluded from play as that 3rd wheel so to speak ... although I do prefer the income of 5

    Things to take into consideration when hiring 'help' if you plan to take on more children even if staying within the '5' ratios are does having that extra kid worth the hassle of having to recruit someone into your home, supervise them and take responsibility for their work, dealing with when they are sick and you are suddenly 'alone' with that many kids and you are not use to having to do it and most off PAY them at least minimum wage ... so for example if you are having to pay someone at least $10.10 an hour plus EI, CPP and other employer expenses and so forth not to mention your insurance ryder will likely go up if you have an 'employee' in addition to clients so lets say at least $12.00 an hour for the total 'expense' of an employee .... is it really WORTH the extra children in your program if you feel you need help in order to have them? Honestly when we break down how much we make PER CHILD / HOUR which lets say we are charging $35 a day and you plan on hiring help for 8 hours that work out to 4.30/hour you get per that child towards that persons wage ~ you would basically be loosing the income of 3 children in order to hire help into the program? And even if you only hired someone half time of 4 hours a day that is still the income of 1.5 extra child just for the persons wages ... plus you still need to FEED / PROGRAM for those two extra children which will eat up the remaining revenue for them?

    This is why I always have a hard time fathoming why anyone hires 'help' in their program in the first place cause IMO it would just be easier to keep the lower ratio you can handle without all the hassle and accountability of having an employee .... unless I was taking a sick leave or maternity leave for a short term where I would not be truly 'working' in my program but wanted to hire someone to keep my clientele base so not as to have to start over ~ I personally would not be hiring someone on a permanent regular basis ~ it is just too much for little benefit ... if I am lonely from working by myself all day I would rather pair up with people at the park or playdates but still keep my autonomy of working 'alone'

    As for insurance ~ remember that your insurance company while it 'claims' to be there to protect you is in reality a business out to turn a profit ~ they do not want to pay out if they can find a way to avoid it because it affects the shareholders profits ~ so make sure that you close any loop holes of interpretation by making sure it is clearly stated on your policy that your own children are in addition to that 5 you are covered for.... when you actually go to make a claim they will look for any possible way to 'deny' it by saying you did something to void your policy or that something was no 'covered' in it cause that is just how insurance works so make sure that your policy is VERY CLEARLY worded .... so in your case it should say that you have a home childcare ryder that includes 5 children PLUS your own because if it just says 'covered for up to 5 children' than they can argue when push comes to shove in a claim that if you had 7 children in attendance at the time of the accident that even though that is 'legal' you were not covered for that many children on the policy so therefore the policy is 'voided'

    Also if you plan to hire an employee / helper into your program make sure you inform your policy holder and have this information added to your policy in writing because if you just 'assume' it is ok to have an employee and there is no written record on your insurance policy of an employee and something happens you risk your insurance being voided even if someone 'told' you verbally that it was ok ~ get everything in writing!!!!


    Good luck in your choice!
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the insurance tip Reggio !! And that is exactly why I was more comfortable with 4 ...I felt like maybe they would pair up.

    As for the help I was considering maybe 2 mornings a week until nap time. That's when my planned acitivites happen and outdoors play and what not. I certainly do not want to compromise the quality of care I am proving to the kids.

    I really hate the position I put myself in. There is the lack of experience for sure. I was so scared not to find anyone to replace the one I tought was leaving and the family that dropped that I took registrations to early .... I should have had more confidence and not stress to much about finding people in Sept. Live and learn !!

  8. #8
    Euphoric !
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    Also keep in mind that the kids will all age month by month which can make some things go a lot easier. At minimum they know the routines so will just automatically go take their shoes off when you say time to get ready for nap. The baby that needs fed bottles now will only be doing that a couple more months then taking a cup like the rest of them. The one not walking will be running before you know it.

    What you might want to do is just wait a couple months and then add the next child then once the group you have now is ready so to speak.

  9. #9
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    Very true playfelt... By the time my 2 one year old starts all my other kids will be 2 or just over 2 and they are already getting very good with clean ups, sleeping, eating ... I mean I really do have a great bunch so far. That's another reason I can't see myself letting them go ... Even that llittle boy who's parents kinda drive me crazy... I am totally attached and dedicated.

    I am thinking maybe asking the one year olds to start part time one month before the original start date so I can adjust my schedules and figure out if I will need extra pair of hands.

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