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  1. #1
    Administrator Starting to feel at home... admin's Avatar
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    Post Document on how to choose the right daycare provider

    Hi !

    I just wanted to let you know that we wrote an easy step-by-step article on How to choose the right daycare provider. It contains information about:

    - Planning your search;
    - Questions to ask when calling providers;
    - What to look for and points to clarify when visiting a daycare;
    - Background checks & references;
    - Etc.

    Don't hesitate to read it !

  2. #2
    Shy
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    The advice I give to parents that are looking for child care is to interview as many providers as you can. Go with your gut. Like buying a car for example......you shop around and you sit it in for a while. You don't usually buy the first car you see. Your parent instincts will kick in and you will know when you have found the right provider for you and your family. Don't cancel an interview either just check out the daycare because you never know the one that got away might have been a better fit for your family. We don't mind interviews we know that it is a part of our business so you are not bothering us. I would rather someone interview me then to call and cancel because they found a provider all ready. This is for your child so interview a lot of providers at least 3 then you can make a more informed decision.
    Good luck!

    Love: Mrs. Laurie

  3. #3
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    I would love there to be a sheet for DCP when interviewing parents. I have found a lot is hidden and we don't find out until later. There should be some sort of sheet for us when doing interviews of questions that WE can ask parents.

  4. #4
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    I agree with Mrs. Laurie on shopping around for a daycare. NEVER EVER CANCEL an interview!

    I had one parent cancel an interview, and this is what she left on my answering machine, "I'm cancelling the interview because I found a cheaper and better daycare than you". First off, how do you know that they're better when you don't go to the interview, and secondly - cheaper?!?! I'm glad you care more about money than the safety and well-being of your child!

    The daycare should suit you and the child care provider. I tell the parents that not every daycare is for every child!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for doing this Mrs. Laurie. Parents need to know that if they choose a licensed daycare they do not have to worry about criminal record searches, first aid and CPR training, safety of premises and outside area as all of this is covered by licensing regulations and are checked regularly at unannounced visits.
    What parents need to know is the benefits of different types of care. In a licensed family childcare there are fewer children=less sickness and less time parents need to take off from work, no staff hierarchy (if you have a problem you speak with the caregiver not the manager--as in institutional centers), individualized care (only one caregiver for your child to get to know and trust not the large number as in a center), home setting (your child feels more comfortable), more flexibility with schedules and usually fees are less in family childcare.
    Parents can ask to see the last inspection report for the childcare. This will show the hazard rating and any problems that need to be taken care of in the childcare. Parents may also phone the licensing board and ask if there are any investigations against the childcare and what the hazard rating is.

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  7. #6
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    Thanks Mrs Laurie and horse girl.
    I would suggest that parents chose a licensed day care over an unlicensed day care. I believe that there are good unlicensed providers too.
    At the end of the day it comes down to personal work ethics.
    Ask a lot of questions and take time in deciding. The most important question is whether your child will be comfortable there and gets the kind of care she needs. You know your child better than anyone and chose a place that will suit your child. Ask specific questions and address all your concerns while interviewing the provider. It might be useful to let the provider tell you what he/she expects from children in a particular age. You do not want her dismissing you later saying that your child is needy.
    All babies are needy and to different extents. Thats why they are dependents.
    It is harder when they are under 15 months ...some babies are a lot more needy than the others and your "angel" provider might turn you down after knowing your baby needs more attention than the others.

  8. #7
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    Horsegirl - Just to let you know that there are many unlicensed home daycare that are great - Parents just have to do their proper research.

    I am an unlicensed home daycare, and yes, I do have police check up to date, and all my training. I also have a rule that my daycare is Open Door Policy, where parents can drop by at any time (just not during 1-3 p.m. as it's nap time). I have references that parents can call. I've worked at many different daycare centers, nursery schools, and have been a nanny to 3 different families before I've opened up a home daycare.
    I am only accepting 3 full-time children, as I'm not in it for the money, but for the quality childcare that I believe these children should receive. I want what is best for the children I care for, and see that they are learning as well as having fun!

    Parents, just like caregivers, have to research/interview the places they're interested in putting their children!
    Last edited by Play and Learn; 02-09-2011 at 11:00 AM. Reason: spelling/grammar!

  9. #8
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    Hi Play and Learn--you are absolutely right there are a lot of quality license not required childcares and you sound as if you offer one of these. My point was that if parents are concerned about these issues they should know that there are ways to make sure that these issues are addressed.

    The rules and regulations in our area state that an unlicensed childcare may only have 2 children or a sibling group of only 3. Are your regulations different?

    Unfortunately many license not required caregivers are not concerned about upgrading their education, getting criminal record searches for themselves and all family members, have Child Safe First aid and CPR, and doing many changes to their homes to make it as safe as possible for the children.

    I decided to become licensed so that I could offer the quality, safe, nurturing care that licensing requires. Yes, there are some licensed caregivers that do not abide by the regulations, but at least they can be monitored by the licensing officers and hopefully caught. Many of us have to supplement the family income, love children and want to offer the type of care that we would want for our own children.

    I truly believe in family childcare compared to institutional centers,as there have been many investigations, allegations and charges against the centers for mental, physical, sexual abuse and neglect. It is hard to find such incidents with family childcares. When there are so many caregivers it is hard to monitor their behavior when they are caring for the children.

    In our area the ECE's and the Child Care Coalition is sending a proposal to the government to start Early Years Centers (Universal Child Care). ECE's will run these centers, fees will be capped at a low level (government will pay you and it will not be what caregivers are charging now) and you may not charge the parents anymore, caregivers may still run out of their homes, but unless you are licensed and sign a contract with the government, you will not be paid the fee from the government (means that parents will have to pay more for your care), daily programs will all be the same, ECE's will work with kindergarten teachers and offer daycare in the classroom before and after kindergarten, the same as grade one. Family child caregivers will loose kindergarten and grade one students in their care. Infants will have a space at a center which is publicly funded (tax payer funded) All of these proposals will put the license not required and the licensed caregiver out of business. I don't know which area you live in, but are you having these issues?

  10. #9
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    We are going to have to be very careful in this discussion because each province has different regulations about how many children that can be cared for, the age mix and if a license is required. To say unlincensed will mean different things in different provinces. In Ontario for instance there is no such thing as a licensed caregiver. We have licensed daycare centres and we have agencies that are licensed to contract with individual caregivers for services and they do inspections but those caregivers themselves are not licensed. A caregiver in Ontario can care for up to 5 children. Therefore I am not licensed as such but have been a daycare provider for 23 years and would like to think I provide an excellent service to parents. It is not about being licensed that makes the difference. At the same time it is up to the parents that contract with me to monitor the care I am providing and they are in a better place to do that than a supervisor that stops in once a month even if it is unannounced. Just a reminder that for this thread if everyone wouldn't mind saying what province they are in when they post so that there are no hard feelings or misinterpretations. Just because I live in Ontario and can not be licensed means I can be just as good a caregiver as someone that lives in another province that offers licensing.

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  12. #10
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    I am glad we are having this discussion of how many children should be under a provider. I am aware of providers who have many kids, sometimes many under 15 months...the rules on this are not clear.
    Whether it is an institution or a home day care ( licensed/unlicensed)....it definitely comes down to personal ethics.
    In an institution, issues concerning abuse ( mental, physical, neglect) come to light more often. However, I cannot rule out the fact that there are a few providers who neglect and as far a abuse goes...it goes unnoticed.
    One cannot really determine if a child under 15 months ( until they can actually talk) is abused or not. In a home day care though, this is behind closed doors and unfortunately there are bad apples.

    For now here is what I think neglect is..
    What is neglect?
    1.Does your child come back with a diaper rash? ( which clears away during weekends and comes back at the day care) Please note that diaper rash could happen due to diarrhoea, food patterns and teething too. You have to monitor long enough to see if it is a day care hygiene issue
    2. Do a few drop ins and check whats going on...what is your child doing. If your child is constantly crying what is your day care provider doing?
    3. Does your child wake up crying and seems stressed? An otherwise happy child is now turning unhappy.
    4. Does you child seem happy with your provider when you drop in?
    5. Does your child look tired and hungry?
    6. Does your child want to go back or cries signing to leave (showing the car, heart pounding etc)
    7. Its time up when the provider starts complaining about your kid constantly...he/she is not interested to make an effort anymore and it is bad news.
    Talk to him/her openly to see if he/she wants out.
    8. If things do not improve in three weeks no matter what the circumstance is find a different provider.
    9. Trust your child's cues however sweet your provider is. If your child is not happy thats what is important.

    There are different kinds of providers...
    some care more about the eating and sleeping especially with younger toddlers and babies
    Some focus on eating, sleeping and some educational activity
    Some are particular about milestones...check what are the expectations of your provider
    For example how independent does you provider expects your child to be.
    As a parent be honest and discuss what your child can and cannot do.
    (You cannot ultimately expect a 11 month old to sit in circles and enjoy it...neither can you expect a 12 month old to say a few words...not all children do this..
    Some walk at 10 and some at 15..)
    Of course it is easier on the provider if your kid is more independent but if your kid is not, then chose a provider who understands the needs of your child.
    At the end of the day, your child's happiness and safety is most important.

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