Kanata lakes daycare

Heitan

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We moved to Kanata Lakes recently and are now looking to send our little girl to a daycare facility when she turns two years old in May. Does any mom know of a good one to recommend? We've been on the waiting list for a long time, but the ones offering spots are far away from our place. Many thanks!!!
 

kliu

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We moved to Kanata Lakes recently and are now looking to send our little girl to a daycare facility when she turns two years old in May. Does any mom know of a good one to recommend? We've been on the waiting list for a long time, but the ones offering spots are far away from our place. Many thanks!!!
Two years old is in Toddler program, and the spaces are very limited (teacher ratio 1:5). If you can wait until 2.5 years old, she will be in Preschool program and there are more spaces (teacher ratio 1:8)

Even if it's far away, you might still want to hold a spot and keep waiting. If you are looking for licensed centres, the waiting list is like 1.5+ years, so just grab a space when there is one.

Btw, I think the Morgan's Grant Montessori (http://www.morgansgrantmontessori.com/) seems to have space quite often. They are new, so not always full, and they said they won't pick from the central waiting list. It's not that far from Kanata Lakes, just drive along the Kanata Ave, then turn to Terry Fox (takes about 7 min drive).
 

wiki

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I would NOT recommend MG Montessori, IMO, their toddler program is far below the expected Montessori standards. We did a tour with the principal and owner of the school, were not impressed by their facilities nor their program. The only teacher for the toddler program only took one training course, "she's willing to take more courses" said the principal. Would you pay $1200 a month for basically a home daycare?
 

kliu

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I would NOT recommend MG Montessori, IMO, their toddler program is far below the expected Montessori standards. We did a tour with the principal and owner of the school, were not impressed by their facilities nor their program. The only teacher for the toddler program only took one training course, "she's willing to take more courses" said the principal. Would you pay $1200 a month for basically a home daycare?
I'm not a fan of Montessori program. You can just get a fancy Montessori teacher cert for $2k through a correspondence course offered by private Montessori teacher's schools in Canada. There's no regulation from the Montessori society nor from the government. If you look at the Montessori theory, you would find it's becoming less and less distinct from the common theory taught in regular ECE programs.

When looking at the daycare teachers, I think it's more important to look at if they have an ECE qualification, which means, they have at least gone through 4 terms of ECE education in an acredited college in Ontario, and they have finished their practicum guided by the ECE course instructor for about 2 terms. Also look at if they have real experience in working in licensed daycare centres, and if they have good comments from their previous daycare centres.

From what I heard, the MG one's teachers do have ECE qualification, and they did have experience working in licensed daycare for some years. However, some drawbacks are that they don't provide diaper, and they don't provide hot meal, which are the things I don't prefer.

I won't agree that it would be same as a home daycare. You would have to understand the following differences:

Home daycare
- is not regulated by Ontario government
- does not require ECE qualification or experience or certificate
- does not have administrative staff to organize the programs
- does not have to meet the teacher ratio and all rules set out by the Ontario government like min indoor space per kid, min outdoor space per kid, min sleeping space per kid, min windows per room, toilet per kid etc..
- does not have backup staff in case the main teacher is sick
- does not have food preparation cleaniness check by authority
- does not have allergy check by authority

etc..etc..

And do you know in Kanata, even a non-profit daycare centre will cost $1200/month for toddler? My son is at non-profit daycare centre in Kanata and we are paying that amount, so unless you don't mind to put your kid to in a home daycare, you will have to expect to pay more or less that amount.
 

wiki

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Home daycare
- is not regulated by Ontario government

Not true, it's governed by the Ontario Nursery Act

- does not require ECE qualification or experience or certificate
Not necessarily, most agencies do check for ECE or prior experience, although not mandatory but preferred.

- does not have administrative staff to organize the programs
Not necessarily, some agencies do provide administrative support and program advisory.

- does not have to meet the teacher ratio and all rules set out by the Ontario government like min indoor space per kid, min outdoor space per kid, min sleeping space per kid, min windows per room, toilet per kid etc..
Not true, teacher to children ratio is 1 to 5, with only 2 children 2 years old or younger

- does not have backup staff in case the main teacher is sick
Not necessarily, agencies provide backup care provider

- does not have food preparation cleaniness check by authority

Define authority. WeeWatch, a well known agency in Ottawa West does monthly safety checks and surprise home visits.

- does not have allergy check by authority
I'm unaware of an "authority" on allergy check, can you provide more info here.
 

kliu

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Btw, this is just the information I gathered last two years as a mom while doing research on quality care for my child. There may or may not be new information that I'm not aware of.

Home daycare
- is not regulated by Ontario government
Not true, it's governed by the Ontario Nursery Act
No, only Licensed home daycare will have agents coming to their home to verify that they have met all the requirements. For the non-licensed home daycare, unless someone reported them to the police, no one will ever check.

- does not require ECE qualification or experience or certificate
Not necessarily, most agencies do check for ECE or prior experience, although not mandatory but preferred.
Not mandatory means do not require. Require means mandatory.

- does not have administrative staff to organize the programs
Not necessarily, some agencies do provide administrative support and program advisory.
And home daycares are not necessarily licensed, but even licensed ones as you agreed, they may or may not. So I think it's fair enough to say "does not have" in general.

- does not have to meet the teacher ratio and all rules set out by the Ontario government like min indoor space per kid, min outdoor space per kid, min sleeping space per kid, min windows per room, toilet per kid etc..
Not true, teacher to children ratio is 1 to 5, with only 2 children 2 years old or younger
As said before, if it's not licensed, no one will ever check them unless someone report them to the police. Even if it's licensed home daycare, and the private agencies will check, this number excludes the daycare operator's own kids. So, if the daycare operator already have 10 own children, the teacher children ratio will become 1 to 15. If the daycare operator already have 5 own children, the teacher children ratio will become 1 to 10. Well, you may argue, who will have 10 own children nowadays? But it's hard to say, people divorced and remarried and adopted kids, so daycare operator can really have quite many own children. I don't really see this is well regulated.

- does not have backup staff in case the main teacher is sick
Not necessarily, agencies provide backup care provider
As said. They are not required to have backup staff, and most of parents I know have switched to licensed daycare centre because "they have been taking too many days off coz the home daycare is suddently closed". Btw, even if they have backup care provider, it's not at the same location (maybe another home daycare a few blocks away or even in another neighbourhood). When I mean backup staff, I mean staff working at the same location. Otherwise if the home daycare operator's family member is sick, the parents will have to transport the kids to a different place to stay away from the virus. Or, if the home daycare operator gets sick in the middle of the day, the parents will have to take the day off and transport the kids to the backup care provider even if there is one.


- does not have food preparation cleaniness check by authority
Define authority. WeeWatch, a well known agency in Ottawa West does monthly safety checks and surprise home visits.
WeeWatch is just a franchise company, even the Ottawa West one will have a different operation practice as the Ottawa East one. Anyone (who may or may not know anything about daycare and children education and Nursery Act regulations), can pay the franchise fee of $17,500 to become a WeeWatch franchise in a new territory. Their training course for the new franchise owner takes only 3 weeks (http://www.weewatch.com/franchising_text.html).

I think they are actually quite new to Ottawa West, but they are "well known" to spend a significant amount of resource in advertisement, so they grow quite fast. Well..I'm not trying to comment on any agency, but just give some background info.

How often did they visit? How many home daycare have they visited? What did they do when they visit. Do they publish the reports? What guideline do they follow? When they think it's clean, is it really clean according to government standard? Did their staff go through training and qualification check? (ok..by knowing that the becoming new agency franchise owner's course is only 3 weeks, I really doubt about this coz I think it will take me more than 3 weeks just to go over and understand the terms on the hard copy of nursery act page by page and word by word).

But of course having agencies in this particular area, is slightly better than without agencies, but still, it's just not the same standards as the licensed daycare centres. (ok, even licensed day nursery centres is regulated a lot less strict than licensed daycare centres)

Btw, very often, the home daycares licensed through agencies like WeeWatch are new in the daycare business. That's because when they just start out, they have problem to find their clients (parents and kids), so they don't mind paying commission to agencies for clients referrals. Then once they have accumulated some experience and client base (have some steady coming kids), they will leave the agencies coz the agencies do charge quite a bit (i.e. $40/day may take $20/day), and so the home daycare still run their business and they take money directly form the clients instead of getting stripped off by the agencies, but they will no longer be "monitored" by the agencies, and they might not even have insurance anymore (it's hard for > 3 kids in care to get insurance if not going through an agency).


- does not have allergy check by authority
I'm unaware of an "authority" on allergy check, can you provide more info here.
Many licensed daycare centres lose their license because they do not follow the regulation. Refer to the Nursery Act for details. I requested a full hard copy and it's 1 inch thick so I kinda glanced through it. There are quite many things, but I found that mostly is that the daycare did not educate the staff well and did not make sure this allergy list is up to date and is posted in all the required places (almost every room, not just one place in the kitchen), and of course there are more other things as well.

O, btw, also one thing. The Ontario government require the licensed daycare centre to report any serious biting or diseases to Health department, so they will monitor the health of the kids. I think this is missing from home daycare too.

The Ontario government publish reports of the licensed daycare centres on their web site, so you can go and see what they check and why some fail. The reports are very thorough, and they are like 50 pages long listing everything that they have examined. I've seen reports of the daycare centres which failed in cleaningness requirement, required space requirement, and allergy requirement in their report, and these daycare centres will lose the license unless they can improve to meet the requirements. In many of the cases in the reports, I could see that these daycare centres did try to do it, but they didn't do it "well" enough to meet the requirement.

Then think about this, if the government agent does come to examine the home daycares and write a 50 pages long report, how many of those will meet all the standards?

I've seen many articles urging the Ontario government to tighten up their policies on home daycare and bring it up closer to the standard of licensed daycare centre, but many people argue that if that happens, not many families will be able to afford daycare anymore.
 

kliu

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It makes me feel sad while writing these 帖.What do we as a parents value the most for our children's early education? People pay $2000 and take a correspondence course to get Montessori teacher certificate and we value it. We even place it higher than an accredited ECE certificate and solid experience. Because we see so many advertisement to praise about Montessori schools and we just 盲目的跟随.
People who pay $17,500 franchise fee and take a 3 weeks course to become a home daycare licensing agency and start giving out hundreds of licenses to home daycares and we value it. Because we see in the advertisement that they are the fast growing and biggest agency etc.
I think as parents we are helping the childcare sector to get more and more commercial. Because as parents, we value on things that bring no real benefits to our children's growth but bring only profit making opportunities to the commercial industry. And what do we get from it? We end up paying more and receiving less quality care for our children
 

wiki

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I think as parents we are helping the childcare sector to get more and more commercial. Because as parents, we value on things that bring no real benefits to our children's growth but bring only profit making opportunities to the commercial industry.
It's presumptuous of you to speak on behalf of all parents. Don't use "we", you maybe one such parent, I'm not.

Forget the debate about licensed or unlicensed daycare, it's not like parents actually have any choice. You know why WeeWatch is so popular, not because of their ads or marketing strategy, it's because parents have no choice otherwise. I registered in the centralized waiting list as soon as my daughter was born, still by the time she was in need of a daycare, we were basically told that she would have graduated from university before she could get into a licensed daycare in our area.

At this age (my daughter's 16 mo), if my child is happy, healthy, safe; if she eats well, naps for more than an hour a day, plays well, pees/poops at least once a day then it's the right daycare for her, it's that simple.

Oh yeah, keep voting for the Tories, because the $100/month taxable UCCB certainly "gave parents some real choices".
 

kliu

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Well, you may disagree, but I think we all contributed to the whole "commercialization" as parents - just a matter of recognized or not recognized. Who hasn't chosen things for their children because of the big labels and brand names and advertisements and peer pressure? At one point, people almost make me feel bad of not putting my kid to Montessori because coworkers and friends and TV commercials have praised and exaggerated about the goodness of it. Not until I took courses in ECE and went through researches and visits to find out that it's not suitable for my kid.

Don't give up on the centralized waiting list. At least 4 of my friends have already got space in licensed daycare centres (3 Kanata 1 Bell's Corner) by the time our children reached 18 months. Our children were all born in same year. We all registered after the birth of the child. It's a lengthy wait, and I agree it's hard to get into licensed daycare before 18 months (teacher ratio 1:3), but it's not waiting forever.

Don't limit your choice to WeeWatch. It's not the only home daycare agency in Ottawa. They are kinda new compared to the other home daycare licensing agencies. There are at least 2 others in Kanata Beaverbook area. WeeWatch is the one that charges parents $ to get referred, and they have advertisements everywhere, so my feeling is that they are more commercial, and especially since they are franchise, they keep talking about money on their information page.

I think children under 18 months are the hardest to get into licensed daycare facilities, because 1:3 ratio making it too hard to balance the cost, so they are the most in need group, but the Municipal government operated daycares don't even offer infant classes. Look at these government operated daycares (http://www.ottawa.ca/residents/childcare/centres_en.html), most of them (except the French ones) only offer preschool or even kindergarten programs, but preschooler ratio is 1:8 and kindergarten ratio is 1:12, so most commercial daycares can manage to make $ from that ratio and there are tons of programs available already, so why should our property taxes be subsidizing the "profitable" childcare while we are suffering from the lack of "non profitable" childcare.

Or, if they are not planning to offer infant care, they should bump up our mat leave to 18 months =P Just a thought.
 
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