FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the difference between a licensed daycare and an unlicensed daycare?
The regulation that governs licenced facilities ensures a minimum standard of care, appropriate staffing levels and suitable qualifications. A licenced facility also has access to government funding, both on a capital and operational level; these funds have been secured for the Outlook facility. These conditions and opportunities are not presently available for home-based child care providers.
How many kids can Small Steps ELC accommodate? What ages?
The Government-issued childcare license allows us to accommodate 10 toddlers (18-29 mos) and 23 preschool aged (30 mos – kindergarten) children at any given time. We do not, at this time, have the amenities to care for infants.
What services will Small Steps ELC provide?
We offer a range of full-time, part-time and casual childcare, Monday through Friday from 7am to 6pm. Spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis, with a preference for full time children. Currently, as we are not at capacity, we can readily accommodate families in need of casual care. Refer to the Parent Handbook for a complete explanation of those terms and the costs associated with each.
We have a fulltime cook on staff that prepares healthy and, as much as possible, fresh, homemade snacks and meals for the children.
The design of the building and its spaces adheres to the widely accepted philosophy that children learn through play and exploration. We have created safe and age-appropriate play areas for those in our care and constantly developing new programs, games and activities that encourage creativity, self-awareness and meaningful social interaction.
Is there subsidy for low-income families?
The Government of Saskatchewan offers subsidies for low-income families; applicants can work with SSELC staff to fill out the necessary paperwork and we will forward to the Ministry on the family’s behalf. Once approved, SSELC is then responsible for remitting actual childcare hours on a monthly basis and related subsidy payments will be issued directly to the Centre; parents will be billed for the difference.
How much will it cost per child to have my children cared for at the SSELC? Is there a discount if you send more than one child?
The fee structure depends on the age of the child and the type of care (fulltime, part time or casual) required. Please refer to the Parent Handbook on our homepage for complete details.
Will my preschool aged child and my toddler be able to interact with each other during the day?
There will be separate rooms with age-appropriate toys, furniture and programs for each of the toddler and preschool aged groups. That said, there will be opportunities throughout the day, like during outdoor play, excursions and sometimes during quiet time in the afternoons, for siblings from different age groups to interact with each other.
How many people will the Centre employ?
The Ministry of Education stipulates a minimum child to staff ratio. While the number of employees will fluctuate depending on the number of children in our care, there will be 6 full-time and at least 3 part-time positions when we reach capacity.
Will the staff be trained in CPR and first aid?
Yes; this will be mandatory for all employees of the facility.
What education is required to be eligible to work at SSELC?
To maintain employment, all part time and full time employees working in excess of 65 hours/month, will be required to be actively working towards or have completed Early Childhood Educators programs; depending on their position within the organization, this may require Level I, II, or III. The exception would be those responsible for food preparation and/or service as well as those staff working less than 65 hours/month.
If SSELC makes a profit, who gets it?
As a registered non-profit organization, the SSELC's business plan was not created to generate significant profits; it is intended to generate sufficient funds to cover its annual expenses. Any monies remaining after operational expenditures have been paid will be used for future operations or invested for future capital projects (ie: expansion of the SSELC).
Where is SSELC located?
The Centre is located on the corner of Conquest and Christie Avenue in Outlook; immediately adjacent to the football field. This particular location is ideal in terms of proximity to the school and nearby playgrounds and the green space immediately around the building offers more than adequate area for outdoor play.
How much money is needed for the facility?
The facility is currently in the construction phase and, assuming all continues as planned, will be complete with the doors open January 2015. The projected total construction cost is $945,000.
Why should I support the SSELC?
The SSELC is about creating a permanent, reliable, nurturing and safe environment for the growth and development of the children in our community. It is also about employment and mobility for families. Families with access to reliable and affordable childcare can then pursue gainful employment. Employers have access to a larger pool of potential employees, which is good for business and good for the economy. The entire community benefits.
While we have fundamentally completed the construction process, we anticipate a wide range of fundraising activities will be required to maintain operations in the first several years. Please consider the value that this Centre creates for our community and support our initiatives in any way you can. Cash contributions to offset building costs can be made directly to the Centre; for details on how to donate, click on the "Donate" tab above. In-kind donations are also welcome at any time. Refer to the "New and Gently Used Items Needed" list on our homepage to see what we're looking for today.
How will the development of a SSELC affect other caregivers in the community?
As the 33 licensed spaces in the Centre is well below the expressed need of approximately 120 spaces, there will still be consistent demand for home-based childcare providers in the area. We look forward to working with these experienced and very capable care givers to ensure that the children in our community grow up in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment.
What role will a licensed SSELC have when the community already has day homes and a Play School?
The demand for childcare greatly exceeds the aggregate number of spaces available in day homes in our area. There will still be a need for these childcare providers and educational institutions; the SSELC simply provides families with another option. We will offer fulltime care for families requiring consistent, year round support for children from 18 months to kindergarten. The Play School offers a unique educational and social experience for three and four year olds for part of the school year.
What about the pool? I want to support the pool.
Then please… support the pool. The more amenities and assets that our community has, the stronger and more attractive it will be for families who live in, work in and visit the area. Many sectors contribute to the health and vitality of our community; agriculture, healthcare, education, and tourism to name a few. We want to see each of them continue to develop and grow because the more dollars that are generated and spent in our community, the more opportunities there are for those who live here.
Can the SSELC support itself?
We have adopted a business plan and budget that ensures the facility is financially viable on an annual basis; this plan does account for annual fundraising activity. Revenues include user fees, government operational grants, and annual fundraising.
Significant expenses include labour, mortgage payments, food, and programming costs such as materials/supplies.
What efforts have been or will be made to help with construction costs?
The Board has organized several events including an annual golf tournament, St. Patty’s Day Rec Hockey Tournament, Wheat Wagon Wednesday, a Christmas Gala, BBQ’s and raffle ticket sales. Several of these initiatives - as well as a handful of new ones - will continue even after the Centre opens to help fund operations of the facility, pay down debt and cover future activities.
If I donate money will I receive a tax receipt?
Yes, any donations of $20 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt.
How can I get more info and stay up to date with upcoming events and fundraisers and overall updates of SSELC news?
We welcome the interest and engagement of the greater community. You can register for our monthly e-newsletters or join our Facebook page (Small Steps Early Learning Centre). Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up today.