Saturday, August 24, 2013

Adventures in Babysitting

We have secured a spot for Missy Miu in a daycare for over a month now. I've had a few Mamas ask me about my experience. So I thought I would share.

When Missy Miu was 4 months Hubby and I started to look around for daycare. We were surprised  at how expensive it would be. The costs were from $68.00 to $73.90 per day. (say what?). We were looking at possibly paying almost $1500 per month! A friend pointed out that it was a mortgage payment. (crap!)

Unfortunately we do not have any family to help with Missy during the day. Paying for a provider was our only option.

I decided to check out a licensed home daycare provider. After doing some research, this seemed to be the best option. Monitored by the Ministry of Education the cost was less expensive due to the fact that this was in the provider's home. We were looking at a cost of $48.00 per day / $960.00 per month.

I filled out the online application and received a call within two days from the Scarborough franchise owner. I let them know the area we were interested in. It had to be easy accessible for Hubby so he could continue on to the GO Station. I was told that there were four providers within our area of interest and that I would receive a call back in April, four months before Missy's official start date.

April came fast and the in home daycare and I connected (actually in May). I paid $50.00 for the setup of the interviews. They set me up with two. Even though there was supposed to be four. We went to one and the next day the other. This one was perfect. It was across the street from The Rouge GO Station. We knocked and rang the doorbell for ten minutes . No answer. We were not impressed. On the way home I left an irate message on the answering machine of the main office.

I received an apologetic call the next morning from the office. Turns out the provider said she was unable to do any interviews because her daughter was ill. She had told the office previously, but they had forgotten.

I accepted the apology and waited for another opportunity for the interview as well as others. Two weeks passed. I followed up and left a message. I received a voice mail back that they would contact me when the provider could accept interviews.

The next day the main office called and told me the provider had decided not to offer daycare in her home anymore. Hmmmmm... I thought so. I asked about upcoming interviews. The person seemed a bit flustered on the phone and I was told I would receive a call.

I decided to phone on my own the next day. I expressed my disappointment that $50.00 got me only one interview. I hinted that perhaps I receive some if not all of that money back. They didn't bite.

Later I received a call back. They had a provider by the GO Station in The Guild. We visited her and she was very nice. Missy Miu liked her. But she was not looking after any other children. It is important for us that Missy interact with other children her age... Not hang out with an adult all day.

Sigh... Now up to two interviews we did not receive any follow up calls.

A bit miffed I called the office back. I told them that they had a lot of nerve to assume that I have decided to go with them. I am a parent who has to plan and was returning back to work soon. I ended the conversation with "well my husband will give you a call soon."

Within minutes I received a call from the franchise owner. She told me of another provider who was located between The Rouge and Guild GO Stations.

We visited, but not still not quite impressed. We received another call from the franchise owner asking me what we thought of the last interviewee. It seemed like she assume that we decided on the last provider. I told her we liked her but had other interviews.

Hubby and I went on a site We found a babysitter by the Guildwood GO Station. She was very nice. A former teacher and she had a resume. She charged $45.00 per day. We just felt that she didn't have any structure to the day.

We finally came across a daycare that charged $73.90 per day. They were five minutes from home. We toured the facility and liked what we saw. They had two infant rooms that would hold 10 babies each up to 18 months.

It was a spacious facility with a couple of empty areas. This
daycare had space due to the full-time kindergarten brought in by the Liberal Government. All daycare centres had to close down spots that had children in this age range. Full day kindergarten was affecting the business of daycare. Because of this we lucked out. This daycare provider matched the daily rate of the licensed in home provider.

We were relieved that Missy Miu would benefit in a centre and interact with many other babies her age.

I would advise you to :

- start looking for a provider at the 4 month mark
- put your child's name on as many lists as you like. When you decide on one call the others to remove your child's name
- if a provider doesn't offer good service from the get go... walk away

So Mamas... Do you have any Adventures in Babysitting to share?

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