Finding a great daycare for our kids is the most important thing we can do (you know, other than stay at home to take care of them). There are several factors that come into play as we shop around for the place that our children will spend a big chunk of their time.
Before you begin your search you should consider a few things:
- Do you want to go with a dayhome or a daycare?
A dayhome is child care out of someones home. Generally the caregiver has kids and want a way to stay home with them or they began when their children were young. Most operate during day but there are homes in Saskatoon willing to work around shifts. They can either be private or Government run. In Saskatoon, the liscenced ones are Government regulated and have guidlines for what should be incorporated into the day. They also have a Government worker that will oversee and assit them when needed.
A daycare is generally in a public building, has caregivers, more children and structure. There are very different set ups and opportunities within each of the daycares. You may want to ask them what makes them different.
- How old is your child and what ages do you want them to be with?
Most child care homes will have an age of majority, usually babies, toddlers or pre school age (as other kids are in school all day). This will affect the activites and stimulation that is provided. It is important to ask what age of children your child will be spending the day with.
- How is the day spent?
I think it is important to know how your child`s day will be spent. A big thing to check here is tv time. More than 2 hours of TV a day, actually dulls our child`s IQ. Government ran dayhomes only allow for 30 minutes of tv time a day, so you can see where they stand with this point.
- Values are aligned
As you talk to various caregivers, you will get a sense of who they are and what they value. If they have similar views and values to yourself you will feel comfortable talking to them and you can decide from there.
This is an obvious one. Most childcare homes in Saskatoon are ranging from $25-$40 a day, with $30 being the most popular price right now. Daycares generally run a little cheaper as they care for more children.
All of that being said, how do you now begin to look for childcare that is right for your child.
The Government has a comprehensive list for liscenced childcare home and daycares in Saskatchewan. They are listed by area and give addresses. This puts you in control for who you are talking to. Liscenced homes and centers are monitered and have rules they need to follow. If this makes you the most comfortable, then this may be the best route for you. The rates will also be more regulated in this group.
You can call the schools in your neighborhood for a list of child care homes in the area. This will give you the most comprehensive list close to your home. Some offer preschool programs that run all day, as well as before and after care for your child.
Once you are in need of childcare start letting everyone know. This way you will have your friends preview people for you, and also choosing people that they like, and because they are your friends, their choices will be similar to yours.
Childcare is very important. The very best childcare will come from you, the parent. That being said, you might have to work or you might be in school…and you need to know that your child is well taken care of and enjoying their day as well. Take your time and find the best childcare for them.
If you have any suggestions about great daycare places or have a childcare home, please feel free to comment.