Child Care (0-5)
There are many options available for child care. Choose child care that will work for you, your family, and your child. Most child care centres and other care providers have a wait list.
Wait lists for daycare centres can be long. Plan ahead if you will need one. You can make appointments to visit different daycares. This will help you feel comfortable with your choice. Ask the daycare for a reference or if you can talk to some of the other parents whose children are being cared for by the same daycare.
Even after your child starts preschool or kindergarten, you may still need child care. Some daycares offer before and after school care. Some offer part-time care if your child is in a half-day preschool or kindergarten.
Once your child begins daycare, make sure it is a good fit for you and your child. Drop in often to see how your child is getting along. Talk to your child about their day and listen to their feelings. It may take time for your child to adjust to a new place and new people. Both you and the staff can help your child make this change.
If you notice unexplained bruises or injuries on your child, changes in your child’s behaviour, or your child talks about inappropriate things that happen at the daycare, take immediate action. Trust your instincts. If you have concerns, discuss it with the staff or another professional. If you suspect that your child or other children are being abused, you can also call the RCMP, your local police station, or social services.
There are two types of daycares in Saskatchewan: licensed and unlicensed.
Some daycares are licensed by the Government of Saskatchewan. They can be daycare centres or home-based daycares. Licensed daycares are checked by Early Learning and Child Care Consultants. For more information, click here.
Unlicensed daycares are common. Most of these are run out of family homes. Unlicensed daycares are not checked for the care or the environment that they provide.
Babysitters provide ongoing or occasional care for your child.
In Saskatchewan, children 11-15 years old can take a babysitting course that teaches them how to:
Babysitters do not have to take this course.
Ask your babysitter as many questions as you need so you feel comfortable leaving your child with them.
If they have experience babysitting, ask if you can talk to the other parents for a reference.
If you are using a babysitter, provide information about your child and who to call in case of an emergency. Red Cross Canada has a sample checklist that you can use. Tell your babysitter that if you are needed, you will be home as soon as possible. You can click here for an emergency numbers list that you can print.
When a babysitter takes care of your child, make sure that they know the routines you have in place for your child. Share any steps you take to keep your baby safe, for example, placing them on their back to sleep.
A nanny cares for your child in your home and may or may not live with you.
Nannies may have more experience caring for children than babysitters. A nanny will create a daily schedule for your child with activities that help your child to grow and learn. Nannies may also help to prepare meals, clean, help with homework, and drive your child to activities.
Always ask the nanny for references and then take time to talk to the other parents whose names/numbers the nanny has provided.
Sometimes family members will take care of your child. Make sure that family members know the routines you have in place for your child. For example, you want them to place your baby on their back to sleep.
Preschools focus on helping your child get ready for school by promoting learning and development. Most preschool take 3 and 4 year olds. Enrolling your child in preschool is optional.
Kindergarten will be your child’s first year of school. Children in Saskatchewan start kindergarten when they are 5 years old. Kindergarten focuses on learning, development, and socialization.
There are a lot of things to look for in a babysitter/nanny. This checklist can help you figure out what questions are important to you. Be sure to ask these questions. To print a copy of this checklist, click here.
- How long have you been a babysitter/nanny?
- How old were the children that you have provided care for?
- What age do you like to provide care for?
- What are some of the things you like about being a babysitter/nanny?
- Can you provide references from your recent job and some other jobs?
- Do you have first aid and CPR training?
- What do you know about child safety?
- Are you comfortable giving a child medication?
- How many children are you comfortable caring for at one time?
- Do you have training in child care?
- What are some of the activities that you would do with a child?
- Are you comfortable taking a child outside of the house for activities?
- How do you handle difficult situations with a child?
- Do you prefer more or less structure in your day? What is best for children?
- What is your view about discipline?
- What is your role as a babysitter/nanny?
- Are you willing to get a criminal record check, including a vulnerable population check, as part of the interview process?
- Are your work hours flexible?
- Are you available to work full time, part time, etc.?
- How long would you be able to stay with our family?
- When would you be able to start?
- Are you willing to do light housework and cooking?
- What are your expectations about having friends/others over to visit while providing childcare in my home?
- What are your ideas around using social media while providing childcare? For example, spending time on your phone while the child is awake, or posting photos of you having fun times with my child?
There are a lot of things to look for in a daycare. This checklist can help you figure out what questions are important to you. Be sure to ask these questions. You can print off these questions by clicking here.
- Is this a licensed daycare? If yes, the daycare should have its license hung up where you can see it.
- Is the daycare clean?
- Is the daycare well maintained?
- Are the windows and doors secure so that children cannot get out of them on their own?
- Is the building accessible?
- Is there an outdoor play space? Is it clean and well maintained?
- Are there safety gates at the top and bottom of staircases?
- Are medications and cleaning products stored in a safe area that children cannot get into or reach?
- Does equipment, like cribs, meet Canadian Safety Standards?
- Does the daycare use car seats properly when transporting children in vehicles?
- Does the daycare have a policy about who is allowed to pick up your child from daycare?
- Is there a routine for emergency evacuations, such as in the case of a fire? Are these practiced with the children?
- What is the ratio (number) of staff for children? Is this manageable?
- Does the daycare clean all toys and surfaces regularly?
- Does the daycare have a handwashing policy?
- Is there a policy about giving children medications?
- Does the daycare have policies about allergies?
- Are all staff required to have up-to-date first aid and CPR training?
- How does the daycare monitor which adults come in and out of the daycare?
- Is there a policy about bringing a sick child to the daycare?
- Are parents told about the daily schedule?
- Are activities developmentally appropriate? Do children have access to age-appropriate toys and equipment?
- Do children get to play outdoors?
- Do children have lots of time to play?
- Is the use of TVs, computers, and other screened technology limited?
- Is the programming inclusive to children with special needs?
- Does the daycare provide food or do you have to bring it for your child? If the daycare provides food, is it nutritious? Does the daycare follow Canada’s Food Guide and Ministry of Education’s Standards?
- Are the staff dressed appropriately for working and playing with children?
- Are children actively playing?
- Are staff respectful of the children?
- Is there a policy about discipline?
- Are children allowed to bring a special toy or blanket from home?
- What will daycare cost?
- When do you have to pay?
- Will you get a receipt?
- Can parents give suggestions about programming?
- Do you have to pay for times when your child is not at the daycare?
- Is there an open door policy for parents visiting the daycare?
- Can you go into the daycare when picking up your child or is your child always brought to you?
- What time can you pick up or drop off your child?
- What happens if you are late to pick up your child?
Young children can feel anxious if they are away from their caregivers. Some children are upset when the parent first leaves but settle very quickly once the parent is gone. You can phone the caregiver to see how the child is managing. Most children will grow out of this.
Feeling anxious can make it hard for your child to get through their day. If this continues or gets worse, your child may have separation anxiety. It may be hard for your child to control their anxiety. They won’t want to be alone, even in their own room.
Many times, young children show physical signs of anxiety if their caregiver leaves. These can include throwing up, hiccupping, and drooling.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you think your child has separation anxiety.
Ways to Help a Child with Separation Anxiety
- Make a space for quiet time where children can go to if they feel overwhelmed.
- Leave your child with someone they feel comfortable with. Start with a small amount of time and increase it gradually.
- Try not to feel anxious yourself. Your child will pick up on your emotions.
- Teach your child how to cope with their emotions.
- Get help if you need it.
- Create routines with your child that they can do at home and at daycare. For example, looking at a book before a nap.
- Feed your child regularly. Being hungry can make children anxious.
- Let your child play with children their own age.
- Learn what things increase your child’s anxiety, e.g., playing with a new person. Do not help your child avoid these situations. Instead, help them feel safer.
- Model coping skills to your child.
- Comfort your child.
Emergency Numbers List
|Your contact information:|
|Nearest Hospital or Clinic:|
|List of Child’s Medical Concerns:|
|List of Child’s Medications:|
Links to Further Information
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