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  1. #1

    Is Daycare Really In Demand?

    Hello everyone,
    I had a question regarding daycare demand in Toronto. I have two friends who recently shit their daycare down because it was difficult to stay full or maintain more than two full time children so not enough go cover bills.

    Has anyone else been experiencing this? Are there any specific areas in Toronto where home daycare are needed?

    I have been thinking about opening but Iím really scared from what others have told me in terms of how hard it is to find clients!
    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by littleredwagon View Post
    Hello everyone,
    I had a question regarding daycare demand in Toronto. I have two friends who recently shit their daycare down because it was difficult to stay full or maintain more than two full time children so not enough go cover bills.

    Has anyone else been experiencing this? Are there any specific areas in Toronto where home daycare are needed?

    I have been thinking about opening but I’m really scared from what others have told me in terms of how hard it is to find clients!
    Thank you
    Day care is ALWAYS in demand in major cities. The issue isn't the demand but the restrictions. In Ontario (and some other provinces) a day home cannot have more than 2 infants. This means that all other spaces have to be filled with children older than 2 years. Since the majority of potential new client's are coming off mat leave, most people are seeking infant care.

    If a day home is offering quality care, then normally client's only leave that provider if they move out of area, when they age out for school, or if the client's have some life changing event like a job loss, or a new baby where they will be on mat leave for a year and don't need a carer for their older child. As you can imagine, this means that when a space opens up, those seeking child care are usually returning to work after mat leave and needing care for an infant, or they are new to the area and maybe need care for an older child.

    Since most are seeking infant care, odds are that the day home already has their quota of infants and so a lot of the potential client's cannot be accepted due to the age limits and the children already in place.

    The other big issue in recent years is that employers are trying to be more flexible with the hours their employees work. This results in a lot of part time employees, employees who work a rotating shift pattern, or employees who work 10-12 hours in a day, in order to get their weekly hours in over fewer days and have more days at home. All of these situations result in parents wanting fewer days of care but longer hours. Traditionally, day care provider's work a long than most day anyway because not only do parents need care for the hours they work but they also need time to get from the day care to their place of employment. Many of us used to work a 10 hour day to allow parents their standard 8 hours at work plus an hour each end of the day for travel. Now, parents are often working 12 hours and expecting their child care to work 14 but they only need 2-3 days of care each week.

    Part time care is really problematic for day homes. In order to run efficiently, any business needs to operate at capacity. When a day home is only permitted 5 children each day, it has a huge impact when any day is under capacity. We end up working the same hours, having the same running costs, for that under capacity day, but our income drops proportionately to the children who attend.

    Imagine having 5 full time Monday to Friday spaces. And you have a sibling group who only come on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. That means that 2 days a week for each of these siblings, is empty. i.e. you have income for 60% of the available time from these spaces. In order to make this work, you have to find clients who not only just need care two days a week but also whose work is on Tuesday and Thursday - the days you have spaces. Any potential client looking for two days care, but who works on Monday and Tuesday has to be turned away. If they work on Monday and Thursday, again, you don't have capacity on the Monday so they have to be turned away. You either have to wait and hope for someone needing the exact number of days and the exact days available or turn this client away or worse - split another full time space and potentially make the whole situation worse again.

    Even if you luck into a Monday, Wednesday, Friday client, and then find someone who wants Tuesday and Thursday, which results in them sharing a space and that space being at full capacity, if either of these people leaves, you are back stuck to seeking another part time parent who wants the exact days that are empty. For many, once you accept a part timer, you are accepting an on going loss of income. Either in the empty days or in the huge delay in time filling the empty days while seeking a perfect fit family wanting the exact opposite of the part timers.

    Rotating shifts are even more complicated. These parents days of work change. Which means allocating a full time space to them knowing that the days of attendance will change as their shift pattern changes. There's no way to plug in another family into their empty days because they are always changing.

    So, the demand for part time day care, and the lack of people seeking care for a child 2+ means that when a 2+ year old comes along, the day home has to grab at them because they are so rare and some days filled are better than an empty full time space. The issue is, that this level of loss isn't maintainable long term.

    The infant spaces are easy to fill - higher demand since most people seeking care are returning to work from mat leave.

    This means 2 out of the permitted 5 spaces are normally filled. But with few older children seeking care, it's very easy for all the other space requiring an older child, to either be entirely empty or filled with a part time child.

    When 60% of your income isn't reliable, it isn't cost effective.

    I know rates in Toronto are higher. But I also imagine living costs are as well. I'm in PEI where the average rate for a day home is $35.00 a day. That's gross business income. When you subtract the business expenses of flushing toilets, laundering of bedding, endless cleaning, insurance, police checks, toys, crafts, all day heat all winter, food, snacks, milk, I actually profit (earn) $25 a day per child for a 10 hour day. That's $2.50 an hour, per child.

    If I only have two children on a given day, I get $5 an hour between the two of them. $50 for a full day work, before taxes and CPP deductions. If I have 4 children, I earn $100 a day.

    You can see why, if a provider has only two full time children, that income isn't enough to stay open.

    If you are looking at day care as a solid source of income, forget it. If you are looking at is as a second income and you have a spouse who can cover all the bills on their income, then it's fine. But you can't rely on having the income from a day home. One minute you can be at full capacity and then you can blink and you have three spaces through no fault of your own.

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    Hi. I absolutely agree with Suzie_Homemaker. Another factor to consider is that currently thanks to the social media and basically the government have been creating those websites that practically mislead parents (making them think that licensed is better and cost effective and higher quality); which looking through both sides, it might be or it might not.

    Every field or sector has good and bad practicioners.

    And also the ones that are still on the market are the experienced ones the ones that have been able to step up and offer "quality care"; home daycares have evolved it no longer reflects "a mom taking care extra kids while doing her own house work"; if many have that idea, then I must tell them honestly that their business won't succeed or survive.

    Many of us had to change and look at it with a different approach.

    New generations are working on shifts or from home then it also makes us think what would their needs in childcare be and on how we can guide ourselves to satisfy or create services to cover that needs and make a living.

    Currently, the Ontario government is asking parents and educators to decide on how to create services to better support families and caregivers. So far, since the PCs are in the news we got, is that everything will stay as it is 2019 and proposed changes (currently in evaluation) will be placed and effective from 2020 to 2024.

    So there goes, who ever wants to wait good, and who ever really needs to make a living immediately, this won't work unless you are ok with earning less than $10 per hour (taking care for only two infants until they turn two years old).
    Last edited by Peacefulbird; 12-05-2018 at 06:19 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by littleredwagon View Post
    Hello everyone,
    I had a question regarding daycare demand in Toronto. I have two friends who recently shit their daycare down because it was difficult to stay full or maintain more than two full time children so not enough go cover bills.

    Has anyone else been experiencing this? Are there any specific areas in Toronto where home daycare are needed?

    I have been thinking about opening but I’m really scared from what others have told me in terms of how hard it is to find clients!
    Thank you
    The change in regs to the CCEYA have massively impacted providers all over the province. Daycare IS still in huge demand; in our sector too. We're all sitting with empty spaces and losing thousands every year because of that stupid clause. Suzie Homemaker is completely right about that.
    CICPO is still working with the PC government. Lisa McLeod is in charge of childcare policy this time around. If you're not familiar with her, she has always been a staunch supporter of the Independent Childcare Provider sector (ICPs). She actively supported us in Queen's Park and beyond during Wynne's campaign. We submitted our recommendation paper at the PC's request and now it's a waiting game. We're anxious too as we await an announcement with regards to childcare. Hang in there! All is not lost
    Last edited by cfred; 12-05-2018 at 03:53 PM.

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    I always seem to have one spot open due to age restrictions, but if my current group stays, I should be able to fill 5th spot next spring. However, there are more centres opening in my area, and I noticed on various center websites they advertise they have dropped their rates significantly, showing last year's fees and this year's ($10/day less)....my current families have all said they want a family home for care so I've gotten lucky with this bunch.
    Would everyone's empty spaces be solved if we were allowed '3' kids under 2 years old, or are we looking for no age restrictions at all and someone potentially having 6 infants? I do think a max of 5 or 6 kids is necessary, but should there be any age restrictions at all for a group of say 6? Tx!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebhappydc View Post
    I always seem to have one spot open due to age restrictions, but if my current group stays, I should be able to fill 5th spot next spring. However, there are more centres opening in my area, and I noticed on various center websites they advertise they have dropped their rates significantly, showing last year's fees and this year's ($10/day less)....my current families have all said they want a family home for care so I've gotten lucky with this bunch.
    Would everyone's empty spaces be solved if we were allowed '3' kids under 2 years old, or are we looking for no age restrictions at all and someone potentially having 6 infants? I do think a max of 5 or 6 kids is necessary, but should there be any age restrictions at all for a group of say 6? Tx!
    I have good news for everyone! Posting in a different thread

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