With news of the $10 per day child care agreement, many unlicensed dayhome providers have had questions and concerns about potentially joining an agency. Embolden reached out to the Alberta Family Child Care Association to facilitate an evening of information sharing so that your questions and concerns could be addressed directly by some of the agencies in Alberta themselves.
This week’s blog post is a gathering of all the information shared with us that night. We hope you’ll find it helpful!
Alberta Family Child Care Association (AFCCA)
The Alberta Family Child Care Association is an affiliation of contracted family day home agencies in the province. The association was incorporated in January 1989 and has been engaged in promoting the health and well-being of children and families ever since.
Learn more about them here.
What is the process for joining an agency?
This is a general outline of joining an agency and what can be expected. The length of the process varies anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months from start to finish.
How do the standards work?
The Government of Alberta has a set of minimum standards that all regulated family dayhome programs must follow. The Alberta Dayhome Standards are enshrined in legislation and cannot be deviated from. However, agencies are then able to go above and beyond these minimum standards as they see fit for offering safe and quality child care. Some of the policies that agencies have also come from requirements of their insurance policies ie: no trampolines, hot tubs, etc. This is why you may hear varying things about dayhome agencies across the province. It’s important to understand what is an Alberta Dayhome Standard and what is an agency-specific policy.
SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY AFCCA
How often will a consultant visit my dayhome?
The minimum government standard is six visits per year but most agencies have their consultants visit monthly or even twice monthly. Many agencies in Alberta visit unannounced (surprise visits) and the visits typically last a minimum of 1 hour.
Does my yard need to be fenced?
Yes, but there are some exemptions available.
My husband works from home, is that ok?
What happens with my existing families?
Hopefully, they come with you. Some agencies do offer incentives to providers for bringing their own families to the agency.
Can my pets be around the dayhome children?
Potentially, but not their food, water, or waste.
Do I pay a fee to the agency?
Each agency sets its own fee structure. Typically, in Alberta, a provider will pay anywhere from $75-$150 per child per month in agency fees. Some agencies will pass this fee along to parents – rather than the provider. However, it’s important to understand that this means the agency fees cut into the provider’s profits OR the parent will be required to pay more in child care fees to make up the parent portion.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN JOINING AN AGENCY
You’ll want to plan ahead when joining a dayhome agency as the process can create a lapse in payment between when you stop operating as an unlicensed dayhome and when you start operating as a regulated dayhome. There is a potential that you could have a 1-month gap in receiving payment – so be sure to discuss this with your agency if this is a concern for you.
Wage Top Up
Certified early childhood educators receive wage top-ups in Alberta. If you are a Level 1, 2 or 3 you’ll be eligible for wage top-up through the Government of Alberta.
NO MATTER WHICH PATH YOU CHOOSE
We’ve had a few members ask us why we’re facilitating this information exchange between the licensed and unlicensed sectors. While Embolden PDC is a support network for unlicensed providers – we never want to be a barrier for providers who want to move to the regulated sector. If you have decided to give your dayhome families the chance to benefit from the new government grants and now wish to become licensed – we are here to support you in making that switch. And if you intend to continue operating your private dayhome – we’re here to support you. As Alberta’s only organized association for unlicensed dayhomes – we will continue to advocate for support and recognition from the province.
Watch the replay
Catch the replay of this jam-packed session with the Alberta Family Child Care Association.
Heather, Kim and Cheryl share their experience and expertise regarding dayhome agencies in Alberta.
We chat about:
Benefits of Joining an Agency
Government Standards vs Policies and Procedures
Application and Approval Process
Plus your questions are addressed.
NEW PORTAL SECTION - AGENCY INFO
Embolden reached out to many of the agencies in Alberta to find out a bit about each one. Here are their responses: