How To Find Childcare
To find quality child care, make a list of child care facilities within your geographical area. That may mean a place close to your home, close to your work or school, or on the way between home and work. Contact the YMCA Child Care Resource & Referral and/or Child Care Licensing Office. You may want to ask friends, neighbours, co-workers or family about child care arrangements they have made. You can also contact our Supported Child Development Program for assistance with finding child care. You may also want to check out the classified ads in the newspaper or the yellow pages in the telephone book.
Begin by phoning the child care setting. Find out if this is a good time to talk and if not, find out when is a good time and phone back then.
Think about what you can afford to pay (subsidy is available for low income families, but it may not cover the entire cost, 1-888-338-6622). What days of the week and what hours will you need child care? Do you require a flexible caregiver because of shift work?
Start by asking:
- Are you licensed or are you registered with the Child Care Resource & Referral program?
- How many children do you care for or are you licensed for?
- What are the ages of the children you care for and how are they grouped?
- What are your hours of operation? When are you closed?
- What do you charge and when are the fees due?
- What do I pay when my child is on holidays?
- What training and experience do you and/or your staff have?
- Do you accept children who require extra support and if you do, are you willing to adapt your program to meet the needs of a child who requires extra support?
- Do you supply diapers, meals, snacks?
- If this a one person run centre, what happens if you are sick or are on holidays or other emergencies?
- Is parent involvement encouraged, expected, required?
- If this is a non-licensed centre, what is the policy on smoking?
- Are references available?
- What does a typical day or week look like? Does your program have any special features?
- Do you have space available?
- Is there a waiting list? How long is the waiting list?
- What is the child/staff ratio? What is the staff turnover rate?
- Can children attend part time?
- How is entry into the program handled?
- Where are the washrooms/ Do the children go by themselves or does a staff member go with the child? Does my child need to be toilet trained? If not, what arrangements are made for changing diapers?
- How do you transport children when going on field trips or picking up from school?
- What is the procedure if someone else is picking up my child?
- Does my child need to be immunized?
Additional questions you may want to ask:
- Do you have a gradual entry procedure?
- How do you handle difficult situations?
- How do you discipline children?
- What are your emergency procedures for illness, accident, fire, etc?
- Do you charge for late pick-up?
- How much notice is required if I want to withdraw my child?
You can also contact the following agencies for assistance.
Child Care Resource and Referral: (250) 372-7791
Child Care Licensing Office: (250) 581-7340
Supported Child Development: (250) 371-4100