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  1. #1

    Advice on what type of care I should be looking for

    Hello all!

    I'm new to the forum, and hoping to get some insight and advice on what type of child care is suitable for me.

    A little about myself and my situation - I've been a SAHM to a 5yo and 2.5yo. I just got a much needed job that starts in a little less than a month. Full time, but it's only a 3month contract (with high likelihood of extension), and the hours are 10am-6pm. With travel time, I'd probably be home close to 7pm.

    I'm not sure where to start looking. My 5yo will be in full day kindergarten, but I will need someone for after school (which includes either pick up at her school or pick up from the school bus). And of course full time care for my 2.5yo. Home care, centres, nanny..... So far most, if not all, of the home daycares and centres that I've seen only go to 6pm latest. And with me getting home at 7pm, I would hope my provider could give them dinner... Oh, and my husband doesn't leave for work until 11:00am, so the 2.5yo can start his day later, in case there is a problem with too many hours for the day. Is my only option a private nanny? Does anyone know how much a nanny would cost?

    Also, since I've only got a 3 month contract for now, would providers be ok with that, and let me renew like every 3 months, or however my contract goes? One of the reasons I'm taking this job, is because it's with the federal gov't, which would be great for benefits and stability, and the manager I interviewed with told me a few times that there is a high chance that I would be renewed, and I know someone who works there now that has been made permanent in under a year. We have a small takeout that my DH is running, but finances are getting strained on one income.

    I know this has been long and kind of rambling, but if anyone can help me figure out what type of care I should be focused on finding, that would be great!! Thank you in advance

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    Well...you might find your search tough.

    You MIGHT luck out in finding a home daycare provider that is either struggling to fill spots so will take you on short term with the later hours...or maybe a provider that has a family lined up in the future but has the spaces empty now.

    A nanny will be hard as the hours are not standard and it's short term. Depending on your city nanny fees vary but here I was making $15 an hour, plus my family paid EI and CPP for me. We pay our teen age babysitters $10 an hour...you might find nannies for between $10-12 if they don't have much experience and are looking for work to get them started.

    I suggest advertising on Kijiji. Lay out the info and see what responses you get. If you don't find suitable responses you may need to change what you have to offer (hourly fees, number of hours etc).

  3. #3
    Thank you for your response! Very helpful. I hadn't thought about Kijiji. Do you mind if I ask what city you're in (to give me an idea for the nanny wage)?

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    I am in Ottawa. Here Kijiji is one of the main sites to look for childcare or a caregiver. There are 2 sections to look under...one will list jobs in childcare and the other will be nanny/childcare services. Use both!

    I would expect the nanny rate to vary quite a bit based on location...a good start is to search your local kijiji and see what prices people are listing as a starting base!

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Oh I am in Ottawa too, so that is super relevant info! I am beginning to wonder if it wasn't a mistake to accept the job... Not really, but you know what I mean Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Oh I am in Ottawa too, so that is super relevant info! I am beginning to wonder if it wasn't a mistake to accept the job... Not really, but you know what I mean Thanks again!
    There is definitely a lot of weighing of pros and cons when it comes to working outside the home. The profits are not nearly are plentiful as when we didn't have children! But, eventually both your children will be in full time school and less hours of care will be required for covering your work hours and your profits will go up. Will this 3 month job aid you in gaining employment later on? Will you gain skills, will you gain some sanity from a break from the house. There is more to gain than just monetary value :-)

    First step is to put up some ads and go from there. You might just luck out and find the perfect person right away. No point in stressing until you try and see :-)

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  8. #7
    Euphoric !
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Full time, but it's only a 3month contract (with high likelihood of extension), and the hours are 10am-6pm. With travel time, I'd probably be home close to 7pm.

    I'm not sure where to start looking. My 5yo will be in full day kindergarten, but I will need someone for after school (which includes either pick up at her school or pick up from the school bus). And of course full time care for my 2.5yo. Home care, centres, nanny..... So far most, if not all, of the home daycares and centres that I've seen only go to 6pm latest. And with me getting home at 7pm, I would hope my provider could give them dinner... Oh, and my husband doesn't leave for work until 11:00am, so the 2.5yo can start his day later, in case there is a problem with too many hours for the day. Is my only option a private nanny? Does anyone know how much a nanny would cost?

    Also, since I've only got a 3 month contract for now, would providers be ok with that, and let me renew like every 3 months, or however my contract goes?
    I can only answer based on my business model and what I know about other provider in my area.

    I think you need nanny. Around here, that begin at $15 an hour but more likely $20 for someone with experience.

    Lot provider not take mixed age. Tend to stick to either school age child needing care at begin or end of school day or stick to smaller child. Each child take a place and so if care for small child, then fee is higher for all day care. Someone work all day for other client be less interested in school age child who take place for lower rate. It make no business sense to allocate a space to a school age child and earn maybe $25.00 a day when working full day for other client with little children who pay $38.00 a day. It a loss of $13 every day by give your school age child the place. Same for those who normally take student age only. Lot provider do this because they have other commitment in day time. Once student client leave for school, then they have middle part of day for household errand, second employ, family commitment to aging parent maybe. Provider who take student client not be available in day for younger child.

    Other issue with mixed age is meeting school bus or school pick up. If small children in house, it normally clash with lunch or nap time. This mean either offer very early nap and wake all small child to meet school bus. Or keep small children awake until after school dismissed which if 2pm, then child napping from about 2.30 which is too late in day.

    Meeting school age child from bus stop or school when caring for smaller children also present issue of transportation. If driving to school bus or school, need vehicle big enough for all child and also additional insurance. If walking to school bus or school, that require wagon or multi child stroller. Not too bad in Summer but miserable in winter with small child getting cold and wet wait for bus or bell.

    It often not viable in term lost income or schedule or transport to take mixed age.

    Other complication you have is hours of care. You say you not get in from work until 7pm and know most centre close 6pm. Like lot provider, my hours and my fees not negotiable. I would not be willing work extended hour even though your child might not be come until late morning. It not a short day when other client be coming from 6am onward and certainly from 7am. It not just about money - provider work long day and have time commit of clean, sanitise, prep for tomorrow when client go. And our family time have value too. I admit I always offended when parent request longer hour than my business hours - it suggest their requirement more important than my family and if feel like they not realize I have live outside work like other adult. I not want go grocery shop for daycare at 7pm at night when late client go.

    Lot dayhome look for long term client too. Transition in new client family is hardest part and to know you might go three month time, not worth disruption to income.

    To need mixed age care, extended hours, pick up from school/bus with younger children in tow, hope to feed supper! (this one meal of day I have with my family, what if we have supper plan? I need cook for you child when not cook for own family?), late drop off which will clash with naptime that will be schedule early to accommodate your need for older child be met - it such a bespoke requirement and very hard in group care.

    Group care has set schedule that determined by need of majority client, not just one family. I think were you need so much that normally outside what offered, you have no option but to have nanny.

  9. #8
    Thank you for your insight! I realize what I am looking for is really particular. I am leaning towards finding a nanny at this point. I have contacted one home care lady in my area, and I was very upfront with what I was looking for, and asked if it was something she might consider - I hope she wasn't offended with my message! I absolutely respect everyone's need for family/life outside of work

  10. #9
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    I think you could check out with the school and leave a notice for SAHM with your phone number and the school office may know someone who could help you out - maybe there is a stay at home mom who would be able to pick up your 5 year old as she picks up her own child from school and she maybe be able to take the younger child when your husband can drop that child off at the house too - and it is good to be upfront with your needs so everyone know right from the start

  11. #10
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    I think it is a good time to accept the job as you are ready for a change on some level that is why your looked for a job and got accepted and change is always wonderful plus the money with be a bonus as you gain experience and have family benefits .Good luck and just enjoy the process

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