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Starting a daycare / Re: FYI: number of children allowed for home based child care
« Last post by Mike on February 09, 2016, 09:01:57 PM »
Manitoba licensed:
- 8 children maximum
- 5 under age 6
- 3 under age 2
- provider's own children are included

Manitoba unlicensed:
- 4 children under age 12 maximum
- 2 under age 2
These numbers include the care providerís own children and any other children living in the home.

more details:
Starting a daycare / Re: FYI: number of children allowed for home based child care
« Last post by Mike on February 09, 2016, 08:48:19 PM »
In Saskatchewan, family child care homes, whether licensed or unlicensed, may care for a maximum of eight children including the providers own children under 13 years of age. Five of these children may be infants, toddlers and pre-school children of which only two may be infants and toddlers. If three infants and toddlers are in care, all other children must be of school age.

Quoted from:
You can see a table of all allowed combinations there.
Starting a daycare / Re: FYI: number of children allowed for home based child care
« Last post by Mike on February 09, 2016, 08:40:37 PM »
Alberta limits:
In Alberta, "child care" implies child care centre. Home based is called day home.

Licensed (or approved) family day home:
- 6 children age 0-12 including the provider's own children
- 3 under age 3
- 2 under age 2

Unlicensed day home:
- 6 children, not including their own
- no age restrictions

more details:
Starting a daycare / Re: FYI: number of children allowed for home based child care
« Last post by Mike on February 09, 2016, 07:50:56 PM »
BC limits:
Unlicensed is a limit of 2 children.
Licensed is more complicated, and has various child/adult ratios determined by which care program you are in. In general, for one person providing care, the limit is 7 or 8 children with age restrictions.

more details:
Schedule E shows the various situations and limits.
Starting a daycare / FYI: how much to charge - P/T vs F/T
« Last post by Mike on February 09, 2016, 04:51:23 PM »
My previous post explains how to come up with rates to charge. Another question commonly asked is, what about part time vs full time.

In many types of businesses, it is very common to make a mistake.
Full time is XX dollars, so 1/2 the time would be 1/2 the cost. WRONG
Unless it's a business where half the time for one client means you will be making the same money from another client the other half of the time, you will be losing money if you charge half rate for half the time. In my home renovations, I charge so much for a days work, 3/4 the rate for a half days work, and half the rate for a quarter days work.

When figuring out my prices for daycare, if I start one, those ratios seem to work out pretty good. You may want to go more or less, but don't forget, in daycare if you have too many part timers, you are very likely to not get the perfect combination to be full at all times, and when you're not full, you make less money. Just don't let it be too much less.

Parents looking for very part time, like a couple days a week, are probably better off looking for a babysitter, if they're worried about the cost.

Not too long ago, Ontario had a nice setup. They had alternating day junior kindergarten. Group A would be Mon, Wed, and every other Fri. Group B would be Tue, Thu, and the other Fri. Perfect for daycare. You could take kids from group B certain days, and have group A the other days, except for PA days.  :o 

So, figure out your full time rates, then figure out part time rates with a fair compromise between rate cut and loss of income.

Hope this helps some of you with your decisions.
Starting a daycare / FYI: how much to charge
« Last post by Mike on February 09, 2016, 04:30:54 PM »
Everyone starting a daycare/dayhome or whatever it's called in your province or territory is faced with the question: "How much should I charge?"

That question can't be answered in a single post for everyone, but I can post information that will help you figure it out. Prices vary based on many different factors, like:
  • daycare centre or private home care - to start a daycare centre, you better know a little about business
  • licensed or unlicensed - licensed can charge higher rates, and can also offer subsidized care
  • your province or territory - each one has different regulations, limits, and general price ranges
  • your actual location - is it good for your clients? is there a need in your area?
  • experience and qualifications - infant/child first aid/cpr, ECE training, how much experience have you had? clean criminal record and vulnerable sector check? for yourself and others in the home?
  • services and quality of services - meals, outtings, educational activities, do you offer transportation?
  • references - may not impact price too much, but will have an effect on how long it will take to get started

So, how much do I charge?

Start with investigating your area

Find providers in your general area and do 2 things. Find out what their prices are and find out if there is need for another provider. You may find 3 people within a couple blocks, all with openings. You may find nobody in the area. If you find nobody in the area, that may be a sign that you are needed. Search farther away to get pricing ideas. If you find providers but they don't have public prices, ask them. You could even ask them about the need in the area. If they are booked up a year from now, they won't be afraid to tell you there is need. If they have openings, they won't be afraid to tell you your services aren't needed.

Find people looking for services in your area. Quite often, they will be looking for future care and they may be interested in your services. When you have an idea of what you want to charge, see if they are willing to pay that.

There are multiple ways to find providers and parents.
Kijiji, local paper classifieds, craigslist, local bulletin boards, schools, employment agencies, local YMCA, local kid clubs, Internet searching

You should now have an idea of the price range for your area.

Now do some calculations

What are your monthly fixed costs of running the business?
- If you're using 1/3 of your home for child care, figure 1/3 of your utilities bills.
- If you're renting, include the percentage of your rent.
- If you own the home, include the percentage of your mortgage payment. It's not really an expense because your home is an asset, but you could buy a smaller home if you weren't doing this.
- Do you need insurance? Usually you do.
- What about cleaning supplies and other things you won't need so much of if you don't do child care?

What are your monthly variable expenses?
Some of these are affected by how busy you are. If there is a need in your area, you can probably plan on 80% capacity on average fairly safely.
- How much for food? Healthy food, not cheap stuff. Feeding 5 children isn't free.
- What about outtings? Event cost? Transportation? If you're lucky, you have something free within walking distance.

Don't forget other expenses.
- Advertising. You will have to do some, although there are lots of free options.
- Bookkeeping. You're running a business. This is mandatory.
- Legal documents. You better have all the documents. This wouldn't be much of a monthly expense, mostly startup.

Now figure out your total cost per month, and how much you will bring in at 80% capacity, and figure out the net income. Is it worth it? If you're still making a decent profit, you could lower prices a little. If you're not making enough, you could try higher rates. Some people will pay more. You just need to convince them you're worth it.

DO NOT start with low rates to get clients and plan to raise them later. Not a good way to start a business, any kind of business. It gives a low quality reputation, and you don't want those clients. Plus, you can't just raise your rates after someone signs up.

There you have it. Figure out a rate, advertise, and see what happens. Good Luck  :)
Starting a daycare / FYI: number of children allowed for home based child care
« Last post by Mike on February 08, 2016, 10:31:38 PM »
Many people thinking about going into daycare want to know how many children they can care for and what age limits there are. Each province and territory has its own limits and regulations, and they also depend on whether you start a licensed or unlicensed daycare.

As of February 2016, here are the numbers for private home based businesses.

Ontario licensed:
- 6 children under age 10
- 2 children under age 2
- your own children under age 6 are included

If you operate with 2 child care providers, you may be allowed to double the numbers.

Ontario unlicensed:
- 5 children under age 10
- 2 children under age 2
- your own children under age 6 are included

more details - Child Care and Early Years Act

For the other provinces and territories, here are the basic numbers. I will post later with more details and links for each one.

British Columbia - 2 children not including the caregiver's children.
Yukon - 3 children including the caregiver's children.
Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, North West territories and Nunavut - 4 children including the caregiver's children.
Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick - 5 children including the caregiver's children.
Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Alberta - 6 children including the caregiver's children.
Starting a daycare / FYI: Business name required or not
« Last post by Mike on February 08, 2016, 01:05:38 AM »
Starting a daycare, in any province or territory, is starting a business. It's not a job where you get paycheques with deductions. You get paid by your clients and you have to take care of taxes and other government costs yourself.

As a business, many businesses get a business name. A business name lets you advertise as "blablabla daycare", rather than "Jane Doe" or "John Smith". A business name sounds more professional and makes a big difference in advertising. To advertise under any name other than your own name without possible problems, you have to register your business name. You can't even advertise or operate as "Jane's daycare" safely if you don't register that business name.

If you run under a name other than your own without registering it, you can be fined, or even worse, someone else in your area can start a similar business and use the same, or a similar name, register it, then come after you.

If you operate only as your own name, you don't need to register it, but anything else, you really should. The cost is minimal compared to the cost of running a daycare business.
Off topic discussions / payback time
« Last post by Mike on February 08, 2016, 12:43:22 AM »
I have been to this forum and the website several times over the last couple years. I've found a lot of useful information here, but have noticed that the forum has been pretty slow lately and many questions don't get answered, so over the next few days I'm going to post some basic information that I've seen people asking about. Most of the posts will be in the starting a daycare and running a daycare forums.

I'm a very Internet savvy guy, (yes I said guy), and can find answers to pretty much anything on the net, so if you have a question, I will try to get an answer for you if no one else does.
Running a Daycare / New rules for unlicensed daycare in Ontario as of Sept 1, 2015
« Last post by Mike on February 07, 2016, 11:49:42 PM »
Anyone providing unlicensed daycare in Ontario will be hit with a change as of Sept 1, 2015. Most of you probably already know, but I've seen a few questions here that haven't been answered, so I decided to provide a little information.

Unlicensed daycare in Ontario used to have a limit of 5 children under age 10, not including the caregivers own children. The new regulations place a limit of 2 children under age 2, and your own children under age 6 are now counted.

This change has caused a few private daycares to close down because with children going to school earlier, the full time day care was already lower than it used to be. With those 2 changes, daycare just isn't profitable enough for many.

The new regulations do not change licensed private home daycare.
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