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Exploring licensed home child care in Algoma

Child Care Algoma wants parents to learn about another quality child care option
child care algoma spotlight sept 2021

As the economy begins to reopen and we move toward what looks like a more normal life, people are contemplating getting back to work, and parents are scrambling to get their children into a quality child care program. 

Child Care Algoma supervisor Brooke Braido wants to let parents in on a well-kept secret. She wants parents to consider licensed home-based child care as another quality option for their child. 

“It’s such an amazing choice for parents,” said Brooke. “We feel there has not been a lot of public education in regards to licensed home child care and what the program and the child care providers have to offer.”

Within Sault Ste. Marie there are 26 active home-based child care providers that operate under Child Care Algoma’s licence. They are government regulated and inspected homes that must follow the same policies, procedures and guidelines as all other licensed child care options. They must meet the standards outlined by the Algoma Public Health Department and the Ministry of Education. 

Child Care Algoma’s licensed homes undergo a rigorous 3-step approval process which includes much documentation before they can be licensed to operate.

Providers must be first aid certified to include training in infant and child CPR. Every adult in the home must undergo a vulnerable sector check from the police department 

Everyone living in the home must have proof of immunization and have training in the storage of hazardous and harmful materials.

Inspections are completed by Algoma Public Health, the fire department and monthly reviews are completed by Child Care Algoma to ensure the provider is complying with all of its policies and procedures.

Brooke said, “Our homes are such a quality option for parents, that is often overlooked”. 

The homes can care for children ranging from infants to 12 years of age. The providers are required to follow the key curriculum programs provided by the Ministry of Education.

The children in licensed home child care are in a stimulating environment. The activities and curriculum are the same as those offered in the larger child care centres, such as arts and crafts, science experiments and literacy building. 

The providers take part in professional development workshops each month.  Brooke said, “We help them create a curriculum and plan activities in order for the providers to create the best experience possible.”

Brooke points out that home-based care offers flexibility in operating hours. That’s a great option for parents that are constrained by shift work. Providers may take children as early as 6:00 a.m. and may also allow them to stay until later in the evening.

“When parents call our agency, and we explain the opportunities offered if parents considered licensed home child care, many are surprised that this is an option for their child, said Brooke. 

Brooke summed it up this way, “We want parents to know that this isn’t just a nice lady watching your child while you’re at work. She attends professional development sessions, she offers a strong curriculum, and her house is regulated.”

With pre-schoolers graduating to kindergarten and parents still working from home, Brooke said there are a lot of home-based spaces available.

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