Enjoying the Motherhood Journey - Care to join me on the ride?

Enjoying the Motherhood Journey - Care to join me on the ride?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Applying for Day Care- what they don't tell you

"There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies" - Sir Winston Churchill

Raychel is almost 7 months old so I need to register her into a day care for 4 days a week. My future mother-in-law has offered to watch her 1 day a week so with this assistance (so grateful) I can save $60 a week which may seem like nothing but that's a savings of $240 a month which can go towards her food and other important necessities like diapers, wipes, vitamins, etc.

So if this is your 1st child and you're unfamiliar with the process, you may be missing out on some valuable information. First, if you live in Ontario (since I'm unfamiliar with other provinces policies) and you're a single parent, a parent of a child with special needs, or a low-income household, you may be eligible for government subsidy/financial assistance. This is all great but - like everything else in life, there's "exceptions". If you make a certain amount of income like more than $42,000 you may not be eligible even if you're a single parent.

So let's just say for this purpose/hypothetically, I made last year $42,001.00. Do I qualify? After an interview with a case worker, the verdict is no. So by making that 1 extra dollar, I'm considered to be in a "high income" bracket. Regardless of the fact that I'm not married and just recently moved in with her father. Last time I check, that amount of $$ for a University grad with a good job and with 1 child is not what a lot of people would call a high income household. I am a stronger believer that these financial resources are necessary for individuals who show a need for it and even if I don't qualify, I understand because rules are rules. But if child care on average costs minimum $1,200 a month, that's more than some people's rent for a month. You're working simply to pay for your day care.

Secondly, majority of Toronto day cares take children from 18 months onwards. Mat leave is only for 12 months. So this means that for 6 months, you child has nowhere to go if all the infant day cares (which are limited and extremely booked up in our district) have a wait list a mile long. So it's almost like you need to register 9-12 months in advance in order to be at the top of the list. And what happens if by the time you head back to work and there's no vacancies for your 1 year old? Do you call a Nanny? I bet you don't know how much THAT will cost you...

My best advice is this: during your pregnancy (or NOW), do some research on your municipal website if day cares in your area are not privatized. Call, take a tour, check out their websites and make a list of 4-6 places you like. Do price comparisons, find out their hours of operations, their food menu, daily activities, sleeping quarters, and also if they have subsidy. And most important, ask if there's a waitlist and if yes, sign up!

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