Frequently Asked Questionsclick here to close window
1. What is the difference between a registered dayhome and a private baby sitter?
A private baby sitter is not monitored, screened, or required to follow any guidelines other than they cannot care for more than 6 children in addition to their own children. There are no age restrictions to ensure quality of care for a private babysitter. A private babysitter is not required to have any training including first aid.
A registered approved day home goes through an application and screening procedure that includes all members of the household before it is determined if the agency will approve that home. once approved a provider is monitored on a regular basis to ensure they are following all government requirements.
2. How many children is a provider allowed to care for at any one time?
A provider can care for up to 6 children under the age of 13 including her own family. To ensure quality care there can only be 2 children under the age of 2 in the home.
3. How are Day Home Providers screened?
Providers goes through a thorough screening procedure prior to being approved as a day home. The screening involves the submission of Criminal Records Checks and Child Intervention Checks for the entire family along with a medical reference for the provider and three character references. The Coordinator must meet with the entire family two times before making a decision if it is a stable environment and a home we would want to enter into a contract with. Our agency visits the home a minimum of four times as part of our approval process.
4. What are the qualifications of your staff?
The majority of providers come to the family day home program with a background in Early Childhood Education.
- A Level 1/Child Development Assistant certification is 50 hours of training in Early Childhood Education.
- A Level 2/Child Development Worker is 1 full year post-secondary training in Early Childhood Education.
- A Level 3/Child Development Supervisor is 2 full years post-secondary education in Early Childhood Education, a degree in Education, or a degree in Social Work or Nursing.
If a provider does not have a formal child care background, she has available to her at no cost the opportunity to complete her Level 1 Child Development Assistant certification through the agency. All providers also go through an internal training program delivered by the agency. Providers are required to stay current with best practices and emerging research through attendance at workshops and conferences.
5. How are the day homes monitored?
Day homes are visited on a regular basis to ensure standards are being met. The minimum government requirements is 6 visits a year with 2 safety checks being performed. Our agency tries to visit the home every month with 4 seasonal safety checks being performed over 12 months. The majority of these visits are unannounced. Providers are also open at any time to unannounced inspections by Child and Family Services Authority and the Accreditations program of Alberta.
6. If I choose a registered day home am I eligible for subsidy funding through the Government of Alberta?
Yes, parents who have their children placed in a registered family day home program are able to apply for subsidy. Subsidy is approved on the basis of a families combined income not exceeding a certain amount. Families can apply online or if they would like assistance, the agency is available to help you complete an application.
7. Do parents have to pay for days that their child does not attend the day home e.g. sick days or holidays?
Yes, parents are paying for the space they are reserving for their child and not necessarily the care they are using. A provider’s ability to build her income is limited to the number of space she has available. When a space is reserved for a child that family is paying for the space and not the days they use. Parents receive credits for any day their provider is not available and they choose not to use back-up through the agency.
8. Are there times throughout the year that the day home is closed?
The agency is open all year except for statutory holidays. Providers are also entitled to have paid time off for statutory holidays. Providers will take pre-arranged holidays from time-to-time. They are required to give families adequate notice so that they may take time off at the same time or arrangement for back-up through the agency.
9. Do I pay the provider directy?
No, all payments go through the agency. Collecting fees is part of the service we provide for our caregivers. Fees are due at the beginning of the month and we have a number of payment options for families that include debit, automatic withdrawal, post-dated cheques and cash.
10. Will I be issued a receipt for my child care costs?
Yes, the agency issues one statement of child care expenses at the end of January with a total of all payments received for the year. It is this statement that you submit for income tax purposes.
11. How do I get information about the homes with available spaces?
The agency will need you to share information so that we are able to match your child care needs to the homes we have available. You are under no obligation and there is no cost for referrals. Once we have a better sense of what you are looking for we will give you a list of homes in your area. You are invited to call and make an appointment to go out and meet with the day home provider and her family. You must take your child to meet the provider Only after you have interviewed and chosen one of our homes would you make an appointment to come to our office and register your child for care
12. What hours are the homes opened and do they offer part-time and shift care?
One of the benefits of the family day home program is that we are able to offer a variety of different child care options. We provide care for children aged 0-12 years. We have providers that offer full-time, part-time, casual, and shift care including evenings and weekends. We also have a number of providers who have children before and after school. A few providers will transport children to and from school. In most cases bussing is arranged and the provider will take the child to and from the bus stop.
13. What items are parents responsible to bring to the provider's home?
Parents are responsible for providing personal care items for their child’s daily needs e.g. diapers, wipes, crèmes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sunscreen, medications, daily change of clothing, and season outdoor clothing. For children not eating table foods the parents supplies all nutrients. Once children are ready to eat table food (usually over 12 months of age with a set of teeth, and not drinking from a bottle) the provider will supply 2 snacks including 2 food groups and 1 meal including all 4 food groups.
14. What is your policy regarding sick children?
The agency does it’s best to support the needs of both the parent and the provider when it comes to a policy regarding what is too sick to be in the home. We are required to follow Alberta Health Services guidelines. Those guidelines state that if a child is vomiting, has excessive diarrhea, high fever, has contracted a communicable disease, or is so sick that is alters the routine for the day e.g. the provider cannot take the children outside, that child should not be in care. We may require a doctor’s not insuring the child is healthy to return to the home. All parties involved need to take responsibility to ensure that the spread of infection is the day home is minimized.
15. Is there a waiting list I can place my child on to ensure a placement with your agency?
Day homes operate differently when it comes to a wait list. In most circumstances a provider can only financially hold a space for a month or so at the most. Most families only need to start their search 1-2 months prior to their start date because the spaces in day homes are always changing. If a family has a specific provider they want a guarantee of a placement and that may require paying a retainer until the space is available. This is an unusual situation and does not happen very often. In most cases if the family gives us adequate notice we are usually able to meet their child care needs.