Home Day Care service in Toronto Cheaper Than Regular Day Care

For millions of Toronto parents, the need to provide day care for their children is a struggle. Some simply cannot afford the rising prices of day care, and are now seeking to utilize the alternative of a home day care service.

The cost of sending a child(ren) to regular day care is highest for infants.

“In Toronto, infant costs average at $1,649 per month, which adds up to $19,788 a year (more than twice a university tuition). The surrounding suburbs of Markham and Vaughan are comparable at $1,454 and $1,363 per month respectively…”

In 2015, the federal government announced the Universal Child Care Benefit of $160 per month, which although helpful, certainly does not provide any substantial economic relief or support. While this benefit may be helpful to parents in many parts of the country, it does not give much relief to parents in Toronto.

“Parents of Torontonian babies will get less than 10 per cent knocked off their monthly child care bill — the median tops $1,676.”

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives @ccpa compared child care costs in all of Canada’s major cities, and Toronto is the highest in the nation. In a 2015 report by The Centre, 89% of Toronto’s day care facilities maintained a waiting list. However, in Ontario, it is illegal to charge fees to remain on the wait list (a practice that was previously common). This places substantial pressure on parents to procure a suitable space for their child(ren). This same report concludes the following:

“Affordability has been identified as a likely principle that will have a role in shaping child care policy across Canada, as the evidence shows that affordable, high quality early learning and child care continues to be a possibility only for a lucky minority of Canadian families in 2016.”

This economic problem may have a solution in home day care, a licensed home day care is a preferable choice among parents. A provider working from their home day care can be affiliated to an agency which is licenced.
If a Provider is with an agency like J&F Home Child Care they are allowed 2 children under two and 4 over two years of age if they are working with an agency. All caregivers must be over eighteen and certified in first aid/ CPR.

To assist parents in the decision-making process, the City of Toronto @TorontoComms provides a locator assessment services on the city’s website

“Canada-wide, the average increase in toddler fees since 2014 was 8% ($53 a month) compared to inflation of 2.5% over the same period. In other words, since 2014, toddler fees have risen nationally three times faster than inflation.”

In Ontario, J & F Child Care Services have been a provider of home day care services for over thirty seven years. From their perspective, home day care services offer parents and their children several advantages:
A reminder of home – home day services provide an environment that reminds children of their own home. This may ease tension and stress which children can experience in an unfamiliar setting.
The personal touch – the home owner can create a personalized environment to stimulate the children and make them feel at ease. This is also important for children who have special needs.
Smaller ratios – these home day care services tend to have a smaller ratio of providers to children. This enables them to provide more personalized care and attention.
Lower turnover rate – home day services tend to have a lower rate of turnover and this creates less chaos and uncertainty for children and parents.
Time flexibility – home day care services tend to be more flexible with drop off and pick up times which is a distinct advantage for parents, especially working and single parents.
Personal feedback – home day care Providers can more easily arrange feedback sessions with parents, where public day care services have far too many responsibilities and children to meet one to one with parents.

In a city where regular day care services are hiking up their fees because it also costs them more to operate, home day care services are offering a positive alternative. The majority of home day care providers are also parents and therefore, more likely to understand the challenges faced by today’s parents. The decision regarding day care is one of the most important facing parents. It is vital to select a qualified home day service owner, someone who has a high degree of experience, and comes with excellent credentials. As with any other service, parents need to take their time and visit as many home day cares as they can prior to making their decision. They will likely come with lower costs and additional benefits as mentioned in this article, but it’s crucial to ensure they also come with the ability to provide the child with the proper care.

The likelihood is that a child who is taken care of in a home day care service will suffer from fewer healthcare problems due to the fact of fewer children. They may also benefit from the presence of mixed aged groups which aids in the development of their social interactions. However, it’s also critical to ensure that they have proper security, a substitute in case they fall ill, and the ability to address all the parents’ concerns.

Here is one of the reasons why this decision is vital to a child’s well-being:

“Studies have shown that positive and negative effects of child care have proven to be long lasting. Infants and toddlers in poor-quality care are more likely to become less compliant and self-regulated pre-schoolers, while high-quality child care programs help children do better in kindergarten and beyond… Regardless of whether you go with a home daycare or a child care center, look for a high-quality program that is licensed, has low teacher-to-child ratios, offers a developmentally appropriate curriculum, and has trained and experienced caregivers who will be invested in your child”

Licensed Home Daycare: What Credentials and Certifications Should They Have?

licensed home daycare in TorontoStill unsure about the impact of the new Child Care and Early Years Act on your child?  You’re not alone. There’s been a lot of confusion about how the legislation affects Toronto’s licensed home daycares, and we’re here to clarify. We’ll show you the main credentials and certifications a licensed home daycare should have here in Toronto.

Ontario’s new standards for licensed Home Daycare

Here’s what’s behind that green “Licensed by Ontario Ministry of Education” decal:

  • Vulnerable sector screening: All licensed home daycare and agency staff must be screened for criminal convictions. It’s an obligatory part of working with vulnerable children, and you’re saved the trouble of conducting this check yourself. Updated every 5 years, with a mandatory annual offence declaration, it’s a reassuring guarantee that those caring for your child have clean records.
  • First Aid training: It can be hard leaving your child with others, but knowing they’re fully equipped to handle emergencies will take away some of that worry. All licensed providers must undergo Pediatric First Aid with child and infant CPR training. On top of this, they are required to have a clear, straightforward process for notifying you of any incident or accident affecting the health and safety of your child.
  • Program Statement: Home Daycare is a place for your child to play and learn. To facilitate this, their days should be structured and stimulating. And that’s why the Ontario Ministry of Education requires licensed home daycare providers to publish a program statement in line with the province’s “How Does Learning Happen?” report. It’s a compilation of the latest research on early childhood learning and development, so compliance with these guidelines sets a high standard for your child’s curriculum. When considering Home Daycare options, it’s a good idea to have a look at their Program Statement to see if it’s a match for your child.
  • Qualified staff: Licensed home daycare providers in Toronto are not strictly required to have any formal qualifications related to childcare. Many are mothers with a love of children— which can’t be taught. But qualifications and formal training can prove a real enhancement to Home Daycare. Look out for credentials like a Diploma in Early Childhood Education or a Bachelor in Early Learning Development. And ask about any ongoing educational development courses.

There’s nothing more important than knowing your child is safe and well cared for. And awareness of regulatory childcare standards can go some way to giving you peace of mind. J&F has worked with Toronto’s best home daycare providers since 1979. We take our responsibility to you and your child seriously—that’s what’s kept us in business so long. We ensure that our licensed home daycare providers don’t just meet Ontario’s regulatory standards, they exceed them.

So if you’re searching for exceptional daycare, fill out our parents application form or speak to our friendly Childcare experts by calling 416-494-5898 today.

Daycare Consulting Advice: Our Top Ten Daycare Insights from Years of Experience

daycare consulting TorontoAt J-F Daycare we’ve been in business since 1979 and have learned many things along the way; some of them wonderful, some of them… well, let’s call them ‘insightful’. Yet everything we’ve learned has been worthwhile, enhanced our ability to do a better job and provided us invaluable experience we’re now happy to pass along through our daycare consulting in Toronto.

A Bit of Free Daycare Consulting in Toronto With Our Top Ten List

In the best daycare spirit of sharing then here is our list of top ten insights we’ve had into providing daycare services, in no particular order.

  1. Nap time drop offs are not a good idea – Having one child awake during nap time creates nothing but other awake children. Nap times are also your chance to catch your breath.
  2. Make sure everyone’s on the same nap schedule – Allowing children to nap at different times is like allowing kids to be dropped off during nap time. Nothing useful will come of it.
  3. Stick to your own schedule – Extending hours to accommodate families with unconventional schedules will burn you out in short order. It’s just not worth it.
  4. Stick to the meal/snack schedule – It should be in your contract that you’re not obliged to feed children who are dropped off after breakfast. Allowing outside food is also a no-no.
  5. If a child or parent makes you uneasy say ‘no’ – If one or both parents are rubbing you the wrong way or the child seems like they’re going to be a handful say “No thanks”.
  6. Protect yourself in any contract – Make sure you always reserve the right to terminate the contract at any time without explanation or penalty in case a relationship goes south.
  7. Make sure to take time off – Daycare providers are a hearty lot. But even the most dedicated, daycare provider will occasionally need more than the weekend to recharge their batteries.
  8. Make sure every child is accompanied by a contract – Within every batch of kids will lurk one parent determined to make your life difficult. In cases like this your contract is your lifesaver.
  9. Insist on payment in advance – If you work for yourself you should always make sure you get paid in advance. If you haven’t been paid by the time the child shows up at the door – no matter how sincere sounding the excuse or how lovely the child – don’t accept them.
  10. Enjoy yourself – Most daycare providers love kids and yet peripheral issues can cause them to lose track of why they got into daycare in the first place. Make sure to remind yourself on a daily basis that you’re doing what you love to do and try not to focus on negative stuff.

J&F daycare consulting Toronto is an offshoot of our signature home child care services and allows us to help raise the standard of childcare across the GTA by putting our many years of experience to work for others. If you’d like to learn more about our daycare consulting in Toronto give us a call or fill out the contact form on our website.

Benefits of Early Daycare Experiences as Proven By Studies

daycare in Richmond HillMuch ink has been spilled about the benefits of early daycare. As most articles on the subject point out ‘studies have shown’ that early daycare can make a real difference in the lives of young people. While few who know anything about early daycare and its beneficial effects would quibble with such claims there are those who ask the question “Which studies are you referring to?” In the hope of clearing up any lingering doubts we’re going to use this post to cite several of those previously mysterious ‘studies’ that have found early daycare to be beneficial.

The Benefits of Early Daycare in Richmond Hill and the Studies to Back it Up

Parents are protective of their kids and want only the best for them so when writers start throwing around claims about the benefits of early daycare in Richmond Hill or elsewhere some parents are naturally sceptical. We understand this and so here is what 3 actual studies have to say about the benefits of early daycare.

  • Study 1: Dr. Arthur Reynolds and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota conducted a 25 year study that followed more than 1,000 participants from their preschool years into young adulthood. Reynolds and his colleagues found that study participants who attended daycare programs eventually found better jobs, suffered less drug and alcohol abuse and had fewer run-ins with the law than kids who didn’t attend daycare. They see a direct correlation between the interpersonal and intellectual foundation built in preschool programs and the children’s later ability to navigate challenging situations.
  • Study 2: The Abecedarian Project was conceived and run by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and followed poor children in North Carolina from shortly after birth up through the age of 30. The study divided participants into 2 groups, one which was given high-quality early daycare and preschool and the other which was not. By the age of 30 participants who were provided early daycare were nearly 5 times more likely to earn a college degree than the children who did not receive the early intervention. Incomes were also higher for the daycare group and they were far more likely to have steady employment.
  • Study 3: An ongoing study run by James Griffin of the Institute of Child Health at the US National Institutes of Health has shown that children who received high-quality childcare in their preschool years demonstrated higher cognitive and academic achievement levels as teenagers. The children who received early years daycare were also less likely to act out than children who did not and they also possessed stronger interpersonal skills that serve them well later in life.

As these important studies demonstrate the debate over the value of early daycare is, for all intents and purposes, over. If you’re interested in high quality home daycare in Richmond Hill contact J&F Home Child Care Services. Our experience providing daycare to Richmond Hill families is second to none and can help get your child off on the right foot in life.

Nanny Consulting: Why It’s Imperative You are Able to Communicate Effectively as a Nanny

nanny consulting torontoThe job of the nanny is to provide dependable, top quality, customized care to the children of busy parents. In order to achieve those goals nannies must work closely with parents to determine the child’s emotional, physical, educational and social needs. In order for that close working relationship to develop and flower there must be a solid foundation of two-way communication between the nanny and the parents. In this post staff from J&F Nanny Consulting Toronto provide a few examples of how nannies can cultivate a communicative relationship with parents.

The Indispensable Role of Communication: Nanny Consulting Toronto

Communication is more than just saying “My door is always open”. An ineffectual nanny may always answer your calls but may not have anything of value to discuss when it comes to the progress of your kids. When problems arise in the nanny/parent dynamic it can almost always be laid directly at the feet of poor communication. So here are some tips a nanny will want to keep in mind to help ensure communication with parents is positive, effective and reciprocal.

  • Reach common definitions regarding the word “problem” – Some parents may want to foster a strong sense of independence in their child while the nanny may see an independent streak as being potentially problematic. Coming to a commonly understood definition of what constitutes a problem will help head off future conflicts. Plus, as long as the general parameters are sketched out and understood by both parties there is always room for discussion within a particular area of concern.
  • Always put the interest of the child first – This may seem like a no-brainer but when there are egos involved things can get muddy and the child’s interests can get pushed to the back burner. Don’t blame specific individuals for a child’s problematic behaviour. In order to make positive headway with difficult behaviour it must be recognized that kids are complex amalgams of influence. When parents and nannies work together obstacles can be overcome. When things devolve into fingerpointing it’s the child that inevitably suffers.
  • Your ‘right way’ may not be the ‘right way’ – You may have enjoyed success using a certain approach to a behavioural problem in the past yet find it entirely ineffective with the child currently in your care. In such cases trying to impose the former solution on the current situation is bound to make things worse. Instead, sit down with the parents and devise a mutually acceptable approach based on the child’s inclinations and temperament.
  • Share, share, share and then share some more – If we’ve learned anything from years of nanny consulting in Toronto it’s that there’s no such thing as too much communication as long as that communication is relevant to the well being and progress of the child.

J&F Home Child Care Services draws on our years of practical experience to provide timely, useful nanny consulting in Toronto. Our innovative, affordable consulting services provide real world solutions to some of the most vexing problems facing nannies in an increasingly complex world.

Our Tips for Interviewing a Home Childcare Provider in Toronto

Leaving your child in the care of a stranger is not an easy decision to make or one that should be made without carefully vetting prospective childcare providers. By quizzing them thoroughly on their qualifications, methodologies, experience and more you’ll be able to feel comfortable with your ultimate choice.

Questions to Pose to Providers of Home Childcare in Toronto

In some cases you’ll know within 10 or 15 minutes whether a provider of home-based childcare in Toronto is a good match. In other cases it might require an hour long interview and several follow up visits. Here are some standard questions to ask that will help you get the process started:

  • How long have you been in business? – While everyone has to start somewhere, when it comes to childcare the more experience the better.
  • Are you licensed? – The law requires childcare agencies to be licensed. If the home childcare provider works through an agency visit the agency and ask to see to see their license.
  • How many children do you care for? – Overcrowding means a higher likelihood of accidents regardless of how experienced the provider may be.
  • What is the child/adult ratio? – If the child/adult ratio is more than 4:1 you run the risk that your child will be poorly served.
  • What about background checks? – Anyone working with children should undergo a thorough background check. Make sure you ask the agency about this.
  • How flexible are you with pickup times? – Some providers levy stiff penalties if you’re late picking up your child. Find out before you commit.
  • What is the sick child policy? – While the effectiveness of banning sick kids is debatable you’ll still need to know what the agency’s policy is.
  • How do you handle medical emergencies? – Is there someone in the home who is trained to handle basic medical emergencies? If not, you’ll want to pass. All agency providers have standard first aid and cpr.
  • Who else has access to the home? – During the hours when kids are there access to the house should be limited. Is this the case?
  • How much time do the kids spend watching TV? – Some childcare providers will flip on the TV and sit back, while responsible ones will provide the children with a range of activities.
  • What type of food do you serve? – The home provider should have nutritious meals and snacks for the kids; not just sugar, fat and soda. Ask do they follow the Canada’s Food Guide.

Other things you may want to ask about include the type of toys and play equipment and whether those are age-appropriate, where and when the children nap, whether there’s any type of CCTV or other video coverage and whether or not you’re allowed to visit your child during the day.

J & F Home Childcare has been providing high quality childcare in Toronto for more than 35 years. We’re fully licensed and dedicated to the well-being of the children in our care. Call us on (416) 494-5898 to schedule a visit or to ask any questions you may have about our full range of services.

Your Child’s First Day of Daycare: Mistakes to Avoid

Leaving your child in daycare for the first time can be difficult for both of you. Young kids don’t always understand what’s going on and fear of the unknown can be intense. Unfortunately, without meaning to, parents will often make mistakes on this critical first day that have the effect of making things even worse. In this post we’ll look at some of those mistakes and how to avoid them.

Ensuring an Easy First Day of Daycare in Thornhill

In order to make the transition from home care to daycare in Thornhill as painless as possible try to avoid these common first day mistakes.

  • Not Leaving Enough Time – Rushing out of the house at the last minute will only turn an already stressful situation into a truly uncomfortable one for everybody. Wake up a little earlier than normal and leave plenty of time to get to the facility at a relaxed pace.
  • Dropping and Running – Don’t just drop your child at the door and head to work. Leave enough time so that when you get to the facility you have a few minutes to help him or her get settled in. When it’s time to go however, make sure to avoid a long teary goodbye.
  • Seeming Nervous or Distrustful – Kids are remarkably perceptive. If your child detects that you don’t trust the daycare staff that mistrust may rub off on them. Make sure to exchange some pleasant banter with the staff so that your child senses things will be okay after you leave.
  • Detaching – Some parents find the experience of leaving their child in daycare for the first time so unpleasant they detach emotionally and go through it in a sort of zombie state that can be confusing to their child. Stay engaged. Your child will be looking to you for cues.
  • Micromanaging – Some parents will go in the opposite direction and try to micromanage everything. This can cause uncomfortable interactions with the staff and embarrassment for the kids. Let your child figure some things out on their own. Everyone will be better off for it.
  • Letting Nerves Get the Best of You – Parents are human and as humans they sometimes say things when they’re nervous that they later regret. If you’re nervous about leaving your child at daycare for the first time simply acknowledge it and strive to maintain a positive tone. Your child will be the beneficiary of your restraint.

Parents across the GTA have relied on J & F Home Childcare for more than 30 years. They’ve come to trust our process, our daycare providers and our unwavering professionalism. If you’re in the process of looking for daycare in Thornhill for your child or children J & F Home Childcare should be at the top of your list. Call us on 416-494-5898 and schedule an appointment to come by and talk to our childcare professionals. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions so that you can make an informed decision that’s in the best interest of your entire family.


Is Daycare Right for Your Child?

Nowadays, parents in the Toronto, Vaughan, Thornhill and Richmond Hill areas are fortunate that there are so many options for childcare. Home daycare, daycare centers, nannies and private babysitters are becoming more and more common for busy parents. If you’re reading this, chances are that you have to make a decision about what’s the best fit for your family, but that decision can be a bit overwhelming. There are several factors that parents should consider when choosing whether daycare is right for their kids.

Considering Daycare

There are a few things all parents should think about when they are deciding what kind of care to choose. Taking the time to consider all of these factors will ultimately lead you to the best choice.

  • Start Researching Early: It doesn’t matter what type of care you choose, they all take a significant amount of time to research if you hope to choose the right one. If you do choose daycare, many of the best programs are often full so it’s important to get on waiting lists as soon as possible.
  • Budget: All parents want the best for their kids, but the trendy, organic daycare center may just simply be out of your budget, and that’s ok. There are lots of options for every budget. Also check with local childcare services to see if there are any financial assistance programs available to your family.
  • Time: Do you need a full day of care or just part time? How much flexibility do you need to have with pick-up and drop off? Some daycare centers have very strict policies on pick-up and drop off times so it’s important to check on the policies for every daycare
  • Licensed or Unlicensed: In Canada, if you do opt for daycare, look at the differences between licensed home daycare and unlicensed home daycare. In a nutshell, licensed home daycare allows for larger groups and regular check in by Child Services. Unlicensed providers can have up to 5 children and are not subject to regular check-ins, unless there is a complaint.
  • Curriculum: Whether you choose private childcare or daycare, decide what you want your child to be getting out of their days. The best daycare providers can give you lesson plans for each day of the week and explain why they are doing certain activities. Private caregivers and nannies can customize day plans to your exact specifications. Think about a typical day for your kid and set some basic expectations.
  • Are You Ready? As a parent, your needs are often overlooked when deciding if daycare is right for your child. Some working parents don’t have any other options, but if you do, make sure that you check in with your own feelings to ensure that you’re ready to hand over the reins to someone else for part of the day.

Daycare is a wonderful option for many families and if you take some of these factors into consideration when you’re making your decision, yours will be no different.

What You Need to Ask a Licensed Home Daycare Provider Before Hiring Them

Interviewing a licensed home daycare provider before you hire them may well be one of the biggest interviews of your life. These people will be responsible for the most important people in your life – your children. For this job, hiring the right person is absolutely critical.

Questions to Ask a Licensed Home Daycare Provider

There are a few obvious questions about licensing and curriculum to ask when you interview daycare providers in the Vaughan, Thornhill and Richmond Hill areas. But if you know some strategies for more probing questions, you will be armed with the best information to make this very important decision. Here are some questions that should not go unanswered.

  1. Can I Stop By One Afternoon During Pick Up Time to Speak with Some Current Clients? The answer to this question can provide you with several pieces of important information. If they say yes, you will be able to get unfiltered information from current references, which is gold when it comes to making your decision. If they say no, you should ask why not. Lack of transparency means there may be something to hide. However, depending on their policies, they may not allow outside parents to visit. If that’s the case, they should be able to show you this in their written At the very least, they should give you references. If something seems suspicious, trust your gut on this one.
  2. What’s a Typical Day? This question will not only help you to understand what your kids will be doing all day, but also if the provider has a plan. A plan shows that they are organized and professional; even better if they can show you a written plan for each day. Lack of a plan is a bit concerning. If they can’t even make a plan for the kids, how do you expect them to handle an emergency? A licensed home daycare provider’s ability to plan can tell you a lot about how they run their operation.
  3. What are the Rules AND the Consequences? These are not only rules for the kids, but also for the parents. A rule is worthless without a consequence for breaking it. Ask what happens if someone breaks a rule and how the daycare enforces it. Decide if these rules and consequences sound reasonable to you. Some licensed home daycares are stricter with rules based on what their clientele have asked for, so it’s also worth asking “why?” if a rule seems unusual.
  4. Can You Tell Me About Yourself and Your Staff? If it’s a larger licensed home daycare, there may be a couple of people working there. You should be able to get a full report on everyone who will be interacting with your children. Ask about background, certifications and daycare experience and decide if these are the kinds of people that you trust to spend several hours a day with your kids.

These four questions will give you a well-rounded picture of the person you may be hiring to spend the days with your kids. Don’t be shy about asking difficult questions, when you drop your kids off on that first day, you’ll be glad that you did.

A Few Tips to Help You Find the Best Home Daycare in Vaughan

You’ve done your research and made the decision that daycare is the best option for your family. That’s great news! But the research isn’t quite finished yet. As any parent will tell you, when it comes to selecting the best home daycare in Vaughan, doing a little extra research will make a big difference to your child’s experience.

How to Find the Best Home Daycare in Vaughan

On the plus side, there are lots of great options to choose from in Vaughan, Thornhill and Richmond Hill. On the downside, these extra options mean you have to do a little more research to choose the best for your kids. With a little extra legwork, you can find a home daycare that is really well suited to your needs. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Set expectations: What are you hoping to get out of the arrangement with a daycare provider? Whether you’re just looking for a place that your kids can have fun at during the day, or a place for them to learn specific skills, there is a home daycare in Vaughan for you. It’s important to look at your own expectations first and foremost before beginning any kind of search.
  • Licensed or Unlicensed? In Canada, there are two types of daycare, licensed and unlicensed. A licensed home daycare provider receives unannounced, regular check-ins from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. They are also allowed to have more than 5 unrelated children in the program. Unlicensed providers have fewer children, up to five, and are not subject to regular check-ins unless there is a specific complaint.
  • Reputation and Staff: This is one of the most important things to look for in home daycare in Vaughan. Ask the provider for references or drop by during pick up time and ask some parents directly about the daycare and its staff. If parents aren’t raving about it, you may want to continue your search elsewhere.
  • Policies and Rules: While some flexibility is important, like when you can drop off/pick up your kids, when it comes to basic ground rules and safety, the provider should be well organized and able describe their policies and provide them in writing. Things like sick policies, emergency plans and parental drop-in allowance should all be considered carefully.
  • Curriculum: The best daycare providers take their curriculum seriously. Some are more specialized, while most are centered around general care and young learning. Either way, the daycare should have a plan for activities each day, lots of active play time, quiet time and if necessary, time for meals and snacks. All of the activities should be age appropriate. Ask for a sample lesson plan so you can get an idea of a typical day

Just a little research will go a long way for you to select the best home daycare in Vaughan for your family. If you make the right choice, you can look forward to lots of art projects, new friends and one tired little kid at the end of the day.