Where are you located?
The early learning program is located in a free standing, three story home, in a quiet subdivision in the East end of London. Perfect with quick access to the 401 and nearby communities of Thorndale, Dorchester, Woodstock for those that are commuting in to London for work.
To learn more about the features of our location and nearby attractions for the children to enjoy please click here.
Hours of Operation?
The program operates Monday to Friday from 7:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please click here for more details on other polices for closures for statutory holidays or providers family vacation.
Fees are determined based on the space being secured for the client and a maximum of 9 hours of care.
Full time fees are $200 per week
Part fees are $45 a day
For more information on fee and payment policies please click here.
Adult to child ratios?
One of the things I love about working in home childcare is the LOW adult to child ratio ... the program only ever has 5 children in care at any given time. Plus as our children are all 'adults' now so that ratio includes PD and school breaks.
Children typically range from 8 months up to 4 years of age, although occasionally we have a friend who is up to 6 years of age for those clients who opt not to send their child to FDK.
Unlike centre ratios, which are proposing to be changed to 1:5 ratio for 12 months - 24 months, there are never more than 2 who are under the age of 2 in my care. This allows me to have ample lap space and hands for snuggling those wee ones who still very much need it.
In addition to myself full time in the home as the primary caregiver to the children, my spouse of over 14 years may also present from time to time when they have a day off work or school. You can find out more about my background here.
For more information about upcoming openings and how to go on our waiting list please click here.
Does the program have any pets?
Yes ~ we have a friendly mature Manx breed cat named Nevada ~ our rescue kitty from the vacation place from which she was named.
Nevada is typically social in she comes to say hello to new faces upon arrival but than heads back to have her cat nap!
More about Nevada, her breed and the benefits she brings to our program can be found here.
Are Meals and Snacks are provided?
Yes indeed and fine tasty ones based on children's reviews!
I myself have Celiac, so to ensure safe handling and minimizing cross contamination issues during preparation off food, please note that ALL required meals, snacks and milk/water in a cup are provided within your fee. In the interest of safety food from home is strongly discourage.
This policy also includes the provision of 'home made infant foods' for those who are still needing pureed options.
I am able to accommodate just about any food allergen or restriction within our menu planning except for NUTS. Unfortunately due to my Celiac, our home is not and cannot be 'nut free' as many of my 'alternative flour choices' are nut based.
More detailed information on the programs nutritional philosophy, handling of food allergies, dietary restrictions, special occasions and 'treats' can be found here.
How do the children spend their day?
The program has a strong mission statement that ensures we follow a consistent yet flexible daily routine. A routine designed to meet the children's needs on a day to day basis with lots of time for active physical play both inside and outside in nature. We embrace an emergent, child led but adult supported, curriculum that focuses strongly on learning positively through play. We offer an environment that is set up to support a child's emerging development and prepare them for the education system. Children's milestones and accomplishments are documented and shared with parents on a regular basis.
I have enjoyed working with children, in one manner or another, ever since I can remember ... helping with younger relatives at family functions, babysitting from age 12, taking co-operative placements in high-school, working as a nanny throughout college and being employed as an early childhood educator full time since 1990 and being a step-parent in my adult life.
I have worked with all age groups, as well as with special needs children, and as a result have developed a strong skill set for making childhood magical for all children while ensuring they are prepared to face the requirements of 'formal education system' when they are ready to leave the program to join it ... you can find more details about me, my experience, passions and extra curricular work within the field here.
References as well as testimonials from past and present clients are also available for any potential client being offered a space in the program.
All adults residing in the home have also had criminal reference and vulnerable screening tests completed.
Is your home based program 'licensed'?
As I advertise my business to the public under a name, other than my own given name, I have registered for a 'business license' through Service Ontario.
I was issued a 'business license' with the name Added Advantage Home-based Early Learning Program with me as the legal operator. This is required as per the Business Names Act for all Ontario businesses ~ however this is NOT the same as having a license to operate a childcare under the Ministry of Education.
Unfortunately I cannot BE licensed as an independent home childcare in Ontario
The reality is that despite the 'confusing language' used by the government that creates terms like 'licensed home childcare' as an option for parents implying we can actually BE licensed the reality is NO home based childcare program is able to be 'directly licensed' in Ontario.
A direct license cost the business a small annual fee, it comes with an annual inspection and spot inspections by the MINISTRY directly to ensure the minimum standards of licensing are met. A direct license allows the business to enter into a purchase of service agreement to accept fee subsidy with the Region. This is a fee subsidy program for clients who need financial assistance. It is quite a CHEAP form of licensing considering it costs my spouse more to get his fishing license renewed.
I would LOVE to be directly licensed in such a manner and for a reasonable fee in order to accept clients who need financial assistance! However my only option under Ontario's current Child Care and Early Years Act is to to be 'contracted' by a third party home childcare AGENCY that actually holds the license from the Ministry. And well unfortunately the cost of that third party oversight is far MORE than small annual fee and unfortunately it is a cost that is passed on to both client and provider upward of 30% of potential revenue in many cases. Therefore it is not a financially viable option for many.
Therefore according to the government I must disclose, in writing, to all clients the official statement that 'this program is not licensed by the Ontario government'. Although as a business and as a professional it is important to me to also state that I am still accountable to all the rules and regulations and consequences of 'breaking any laws' just like any 'licensed program' is. The difference is it is just up to both myself and my clients to 'pro-actively' ensure that the program is following the rules as the government and its respective agencies will only respond re-actively to things that go 'wrong' in the independent / unlicensed sector.
You can find out more about why I feel that being an 'independent' provider can be an amazing and viable option for both parents and the provider here.