There are so many! We believe the warmth and love a child receives from being in home care is unparalleled. Here are a few of the other benefits:
- Siblings can be cared for together. Often in centres, children are separated according to age. A home care setting allows children of all ages to play and learn together.
- ‘Home-away-from-home’ atmosphere.
- Home day care hours can accommodate a variety of scheduling scenarios. With parents working around unique schedules (work-from-home, part-time, shift work), flexibility is key!
- Lower numbers of children allow for adaptable routines. Your child’s development and changing needs can be addressed on an individual basis.
- Unannounced visits by the Agency help ensure peace of mind. At TotLot, we visit your child at least once per month. When your child is new to care we will often drop in two or three times within the first few weeks. We want to get to know your child!
When a Provider’s home day care has been opened with an Agency, such as TotLot, they are considered to be licensed through that Agency. Being licensed means that the Provider meets strict standards and guidelines set by the Ministry of Education, as well as by the Agency. These homes are government-regulated and inspected regularly by our Agency to ensure they meet specific standards. These standards apply to a wide variety of things such as ratios of children allowed in a home, educational program requirements, nutrition, and home safety compliance.
A licensed Provider can care for up to 6 children (including three children under the age of 2-years-old), at the discretion of the Agency. Their own children count in these numbers up to the age of 4-years-old, and in school. These limits are regulated by the Ministry of Education’s Child Care and Early Years Act.
We are glad safety is one of your concerns, because it is ours too! The safety of your child is of paramount importance. We practice safety in everything we oversee, and educate our Providers to be pro-active about your child’s well-being. Here are some of the ways we provide peace of mind to parents:
- Vulnerable sector police checks are completed regularly by all adults living in the home or visiting regularly.
- Safety checklists are used when opening a Provider’s home, and during regular, unannounced visits.
- Age-appropriate equipment is supplied to Providers, such as baby gates, high chairs, playpens, and strollers.
- Children learn about, and participate in, monthly fire drills in the Provider’s home. It is never too early to learn about fire safety!
- Each Provider’s home is equipped with a carbon monoxide detector.
- Providers regularly update their first aid and CPR certification. They are each supplied with a well-stocked first aid kit.
- All persons and pets residing in the Provider’s home are immunized.
Good question! The Child Care Advisor plays an important role in the Provider’s home. They work with the Provider, from the very beginning, to get their home ready to care for children. They ensure a Provider’s home has been set up safely and is maintained to the standards of the Child Care and Early Year’s Act. They engage in ongoing training of the Provider, ensure the Provider has the necessary equipment for the children in care, offer suggested activities, and assist with the process of setting up interview with families looking for care. They oversee your child’s care by dropping in for unannounced visits to monitor your child’s development. Child Care Advisors are here to support you and your child, as well as the Provider. If concerns or questions arise, they are available to help! Our Child Care Advisors are all Registered Early Childhood Educators who have years of experience in the child care industry.
This is a common misconception about home day care. Most new parents have heard horror stories of people scrambling to put their child’s name on a waitlist, years in advance. There is no need for panic! A good rule of thumb is to apply for care approximately 6 months before the start date of care (6-8 months in advance for subsidized care). Since the nature of the home day care landscape is constantly changing, spots become available usually with only a few weeks’ notice. We generally set up interviews for children two to four months prior to the start date of care, but we have also been known to place children with a 2-day turnaround! (Yes, we are that good!) In short, feel free to apply at any time, but there is no pressure to contact us years in advance. If you haven’t already, you can register your child on the City of Ottawa’s Child Care Registry and Waitlist. Please select ‘TotLot Licensed Childcare’ as one of your preferred providers, so that we can see your child’s profile.
There is help available! The City of Ottawa offers subsidies to qualifying families, to help cover the cost of child care. You can find all the information to apply for a subsidy here. Please be sure to select ‘TotLot Licensed Childcare’ as one of your day care options.
Definitely! In fact, if you have been ‘accepted’ you can only obtain day care with a licensed organization, such as TotLot. Click here to apply now!
Absolutely! We’d love to help! Click here to apply now!
Once we receive your child’s registration form, we will contact you if there are spots available in the area in which you are seeking care, within two to four months of when regular care will begin.
Yes, there are some part-time spots available. Many Providers welcome part-time families into their homes, and some even provide evening and weekend care!
It depends on the hours of care you need. We attempt to match your family to a Provider who can accommodate the hours of care you require.
We do the legwork for you! If there are child care spaces available in the area in which you are seeking care, TotLot will contact you with information about the Providers who are available, and you choose the ones you wish to meet. We then set up interviews for you to meet the Providers in their homes. Interviews are generally held during the evening or on weekends, when Providers can give you their undivided attention.
There are no fees associated with the interview process. We will do our best to find a spot for your child, free of charge! Only once you have selected a TotLot provider, will you be asked to submit a non-refundable deposit to hold your child’s spot in that provider’s home. (This applies to fee-paying families, only. Families with subsidy coverage make payment arrangements through the City of Ottawa.)
Not at all! You are not under any obligation to choose a TotLot provider. If we have potential providers available for you to interview, our hope is that you meet someone you feel comfortable with, who would be a good fit for your family.
Transition care is the period where a child is eased into care, before regular care begins. It is recommended to transition your child into care, from two to three weeks before regular care is required, depending on how easily your child adjusts when left with others. When older children require care, or when a child is relaxed when left with others, a transition period may not be required.
Providers are paid based on their availability. This means that you pay for care as long as the Provider is available for the days and hours contracted for care, whether or not your child is in attendance. You are essentially paying for a spot in the Provider’s day care, and while your child is there, the Provider cannot fill the spot with another child. As well, this arrangement ensures that the Provider can commit to providing care for your child, while having a predictable income.
While you are not required to pay for the day, you are welcome to! Providers are self-employed contractors with no 'sick leave' benefits. You are not obligated to pay when a Provider is unavailable to provide care, but if you graciously decide to, we're sure she will appreciate it!
‘Alternate care’ is a term used to describe care provided to a child by someone other than a child’s regular Provider, whether in the Provider’s home or in the home of another Agency Provider. If your regular Provider’s day care is closed, we can arrange care for your child with another TotLot Provider, based on availability. In these instances, the fee will be paid to the alternate care Provider.
Need more information? Give us a call!