Tag Archives: childcare

Guest Post: 6 Tips for Choosing Childcare

This week’s guest post is from Nelli Hooper, founder of  York Enrichment Childcare Centre in  Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.

If you would like to contribute a guest post please send me a message!

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One of the biggest decisions parents face is in choosing the right group childcare facility for their children. It’s hard to send your young kids to another place every day, but it is easier if it’s a place that feels like home. Here are some things you can do to make sure you make the right choice.

photo credit: massdistraction / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Don’t Wait

When looking at childcare, it’s never too early to begin. If you have a specific place or are looking at a reputable, exclusive facility, you may have to sign up months in advance. You want to know at what age they begin accepting children so you can plan your time off. The best childcare centers are usually full with only occasional openings when children graduate.

Consider Accreditation

Not all childcare centers are accredited, but many seek that status to add to their reputation with parents. A center that is accredited has met the requirements and follows the standards and guidelines that have been put in place. In addition, it shows you that they take their center seriously. You can contact a state agency to find out which ones are licensed and accredited.

Schedule a Tour

You will want to see the center before you make your decision to give you an idea about where your child will be staying. You should get to see the first room they will be in and meet the caregivers. They should show you around the room and even give you an idea of the schedule your child will have. This can help you feel more comfortable leaving your child in a strange place when the time comes.

This is also your time to inspect the place. Look for cleanliness and organization. While any place with young kids is bound to have some chaos, it should be kept to a minimum. Are kids taught to line up and take turns? You can often see this even on a walk-thru of the facility as the kids are engaged in their normal activities. Caregivers and teachers should always be actively involved with the kids.

Ask Questions

Before you take a tour, you should prepare a list of questions that you want to ask. Some of them may be for the director while others will be for the teacher.

  1. What is the ratio of teachers to children?
  2. How many children will be in your child’s class?
  3. What training and certification have the teachers had?
  4. Is there a lot of turnover?
  5. Do the children have a schedule?
  6. How is discipline handled?
  7. Are there opportunities for parents to talk to teachers?
  8. How do you handle special situations such as food allergies and special requirements?

Ask About Parent Visits

Find out if the childcare facility allows parents to visit their children. They may require pre-planned visits while some may be more laid back and allow you to drop in. However, all centers should encourage parents to stop by at appropriate times. Some examples include on holidays, for classroom parties, or even for breakfast or at snack time. These visits allow you to see how your child handles the childcare setting on a daily basis.

Ask Around

Find out from friends and other parents what they think of certain childcare centers. They will tell you the good and bad about where they send their kids. You can also ask other people that work with kids. Library personnel, pediatricians, church teachers, and others can provide valuable insight on the best places to send your child.

Take the time to learn about the childcare center where you plan to send your child. Since they spend the majority of their days in this place, it should provide them the stability and love that they need to grow and develop into happy, healthy kids.

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Nelli Hooper is the proud owner of York Enrichment Childcare Centre located in Richmond Hill, Ontario.  Her program has an excellent facility and is setting the standard for childcare within York Region.  Please visit her website at http//www.yeccdaycare.ca to learn more about childcare and how it can benefit your child.  

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Guest Post: Nurturing Your Relationship After Children

Introducing the first guest post from the NannySavvy community.
If you would like to contribute a post please send me a message!

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As soon as you have kids, the focus immediately changes from your relationship to focusing on your children.babysittersearch

This is inevitable as your children soon become the most important things in your life and caring for them takes the priority. It’s human nature to ensure the health and happiness of your children are met before your own.

But to have a healthy and happy family life, it’s important that your relationship is healthy and strong as well.

Life is all about balance. If a relationship doesn’t have any time put into it, it can become unhealthy and weak. Continue reading

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What is the difference between a nanny and a babysitter?

I feel frustrated if someone says I work as a babysitter or au pair. I used to, when I was a teenager. But now I have 2 university degrees, over 15 years experience in my industry, and a focused and specific knowledge about the care, education and development of young children. Surely it’s obvious that a job a teenager can do is not the same thing an educated professional does?

A child and her nanny

But it’s not obvious to many, causing confusion amongst both parents and carers. In-home private childcare is still a largely emergent market in Australia. Though countries like England have had nannies as well as babysitters for long enough to develop a clear sense of the different care they provide, in Australia we are still learning about how to best utilise all the options available for private childcare.

As with any industry, not knowing exactly what you want from an employee can lead to dissatisfaction all round. Parents can end up feeling unsure about what they can ask of their carers or what their responsibilities as employees are, and carers may feel conflicted about their role and what is expected from them.

If you want to hire someone to care for your children or want to work in the private childcare industry, arming yourself with the knowledge to find the right fit between family and carer should be your first step.

Click here to read my article,

‘What’s in a name?’

for simple and clear definitions of a babysitter, an au pair, a mother’s help, and a nanny.

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Check back at Babysitter Search for my monthly contributions to their blog, as well as other great articles and tips.

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Santa Baby

Santa and crying baby

Glad you went to see Santa?

Some years I take the babies and children I work with to see Santa.

I love it. They look so cute, the older ones get so excited and nervous; they infect me with Xmassy good feelings.

I’m a sucker for Christmas anyway, so it’s not hard to get my good-cheer-meter rising and since I love being with the babies and kids, putting the two together makes my day. If I got to also eat a too-big bowl of pasta while watching TV in my pyjamas at the end that day, I’d pretty much be in heaven.

I don’t have children (yet, I hope!) but I just assume I’ll love taking them to see Santa. I assume that I would jealously preside over such events, fighting off those who’d take on the task as though I were protecting my magical goose that lays golden eggs while writing pithy articles, curing cancer and inventing perpetual motion machines. Continue reading

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#2. Top 10 things you don’t need for your baby.

freezing baby food

There are lots of good organic and pure fruit and/or vegetable baby foods available pre-made these days. But many parents still enjoy/prefer to cook and blend food themselves, especially in the earlier days of weaning. I like to do this, myself. It’s a good way to make sure you know exactly what you’re giving your baby and allows for adjustments to their tastes and reactions. For some families it’s not overly difficult or time-consuming to boil or stew a pot of apples, of sweet potato, pumpkin etc. Immersion stick blenders are wonderful for whizzing it all up right in the pot. Now all you need to do is pop it in the fridge or freezer…

#2 Baby item you definitely shouldn’t bother getting: Specialised pots for storing and freezing baby food.

There are several different styles available, often online or from baby superstores. They are simply small plastic containers, usually of around a 100ml capacity or there about. Sometimes they come in a stand to stack them in and keep them stable in the freezer. The cost varies.

There’s no need to go looking for these speciality items. Just get lots of ice-cube trays. Just simple, cheap, plain old ice-cube trays. Fill with your blended/mashed foods. Freeze. When they’re solid, pop them out and store in labelled snap-lock bags in the freezer. Continue reading

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