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  1. #1
    Shy
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    2

    Thinking of starting an after school care program

    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to this forum. I'm considering the possibility of starting an after school care program for kids in my local school. I'm currently on mat leave (in Ontario) and I'd love to be able to stay home with my two kids after my leave is over. I was thinking of offering a daily pick-up from school, snack, and homework help program for a few kids. It would be about two and a half hours, from about 3:15 to 5:30 or 6pm. I am an elementary school teacher, but I've never offered any care in my home.

    A few questions for those of you who have experience:

    - How much can I charge? Tutors charge from $30 to $50 an hour, so I was thinking of $50 a day, since I won't be tutoring so much as babysitting. Does that sound reasonable?

    - By September my older child will be 12 years old and my younger will be 10 months old (yes, a huge gap). How many children can I legally have in my care together with my own (I live in Ontario)? I think the 12 year old doesn't count towards the number of children, but I'm not sure.

    - If it's only for a couple of hours a day, does my house still have to conform to the rules for daycares? Or would this sort of program be more like babysitting, and therefore not regulated?

    Please share your wisdom!

  2. #2
    Expansive...
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    687
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    Before/after care is a tough business model to make viable. Generally providers offer before AND after care. The daily rate is dependent on your area/market in your area. I’m in Halton and it’s generally 20-25 a day for about 4 hours of care. The food expenses for school age kids are rediculous! The 2 snacks a day almost bankrupted me, as they eat multiple servings. You will need proper liability insurance for house and car( if using car for drop off and pickup) which is pricey!
    Your own child over 6 years does not count in your numbers, but may for insurance purposes if under 13 years. Your child under 6 years will count in your numbers. You can have 5 children, with a total of 2 children under 2 years at any one time, so your infant will use up a space. That leaves you with 4 before/after spaces. Daycare children born before September 1/07 will not count in numbers, but children born on/after that date will count until they turn 13 years.
    I think you may have a tough time factoring a tutoring fee into that. If people want tutoring, they will expect their child to have your undivided attention for learning, not having multiple children in your care at the same time.
    Perhaps tutoring as a side business in the evenings after daycare hours have closed.
    It’s very difficult to earn adequate income from before/after care.
    Lots to consider, but ok if you just need a little pocket money.
    Research your area first to determine demand/fees and research insurance too. You will still need toys/activities/ craft supplies etc to run a program.
    I stopped providing that service years ago as I was losing money.

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  4. #3
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    [QUOTE=TOmom;87657]

    I'm new to this forum. I'm considering the possibility of starting an after school care program for kids in my local school. I'm currently on mat leave (in Ontario) and I'd love to be able to stay home with my two kids after my leave is over. I was thinking of offering a daily pick-up from school, snack, and homework help program for a few kids. It would be about two and a half hours, from about 3:15 to 5:30 or 6pm. I am an elementary school teacher, but I've never offered any care in my home.
    While I am sure the market requirements change from area to area and I am not in Ontario, this wouldn't work here.
    Parents who need care for school age children typically need it Before AND After school. When you consider that working parents with non-student age children typically need a drop off time around 7am until 7.30am and then pick up around 4.30 to 6pm, then you know what hours of care they need. When a child progresses out of day care and into school, the parents usually have the same job and same time commitments to their employer and therefore are looking for BAS that allows them to continue in their employment.
    Parents who have the flexibility to roll into work after classes start, are few and far between unless they work from home anyway.

    One other comment too (and again, it's based on my market experience in my area) - School is only open 75% of the year. Parents who look for day homes and centers for BAS care and also going to be expecting all day care in summer and when school is closed. While not every provider of Before and After Care offers this, those who don't typically only take on client's who work for the school board and therefore who will be off with their own children when school is closed. It's not too many other professions who get 25% off the year off and therefore they will be needing all day care when school is closed.


    A few questions for those of you who have experience:

    - How much can I charge? Tutors charge from $30 to $50 an hour, so I was thinking of $50 a day, since I won't be tutoring so much as babysitting. Does that sound reasonable?
    Holy crap. I can't comment on this as this is totally area driven. In this province, $38 a day gets 10 hours of care in a day home with all meals provided and BAS averages $20 a day.


    - By September my older child will be 12 years old and my younger will be 10 months old (yes, a huge gap). How many children can I legally have in my care together with my own (I live in Ontario)? I think the 12 year old doesn't count towards the number of children, but I'm not sure.
    Due to the age of your younger child who will be with you during your hours of business, I believe the limit in Ontario is 5 children. Your younger one will count in the ratios but your older one will not. Since the client children will be school age, you won't have to concern yourself with the age restrictions that apply to the younger children. So this means you can have 4 paying client's in Ontario, as far as I am aware. I'm sure an Ontario provider will be able to confirm this.

    - If it's only for a couple of hours a day, does my house still have to conform to the rules for daycares? Or would this sort of program be more like babysitting, and therefore not regulated?
    Yes. You are offering a service and whether that's for 10 mins a day or the full day, you will always be obligated to follow the legal requirements for that service.

    Side note - whether you call it babysitting, day home, child minding, or whatever, if you are taking non-family children into your home and being paid for it, your province will have rules for doing so including ratio limits and not abiding by those rules makes you an illegal provider. Further, in Ontario, there are actually fines for being over ratio that are applied per day you are over so please, please, don't naively think that a few hours of service a day means you don't have to comply with your provincial regulations. Because it can cost you very dearly.

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  6. #4
    Shy
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    2
    Thank you both for your insights - as I suspected, there's a lot I didn't consider or didn't know when I got the idea of after school care. Lots to think about now.

  7. #5
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