By Stu Salkeld The Stettler Independent
Stettler parents and grandparents may know about daycare and playschool options in town, but they may not be as familiar with one option as they should be.
Dayhomes are an interesting option for parents looking for childcare, noted Stettler Family Dayhome Agency coordinator Crystal Schierman.
Speaking at her office Sept. 11, Schierman said dayhomes are literally homes in the community that provide childcare. “A dayhome provides more of a family setting,” said Schierman.
“We only have six kids in a home.” Schierman said the lower staff to kid ratio is also enhanced by the fact the kids could be of different ages. In a daycare or playschool environment, the children are separated into age groups.
Schierman said one benefit of having kids in the dayhome of different ages is the leadership opportunity it gives the older kids, as they can help out with the younger. As well, the younger kids love to learn from the older ones.
Dayhomes also have the feature that the kids see fewer staff, sometimes only one: the dayhome operator. Parents also may prefer this. Schierman said some parents and dayhome operators have been known to build close relationships.
Schierman also noted dayhomes have a lower cost, roughly $1 less an hour. She noted for families who have two to three kids, that savings can add up.
She stated dayhome operators are required to have a minimum Level 1 training, first aid training plus ongoing training throughout the year. For example, operators may learn “Ages and Stages” to track learning.
Dayhomes also have to pass a rigorous screening process. “We have a fairly intensive screening process,” said Schierman. She said she has a minimum of two visits at a home beforehand where all residents must be present, plus reference checks, criminal record checks and child welfare checks.
Parents should note that, while daycares and playschools may follow general business hours, dayhomes are a bit more flexible and may be open longer, even nights and weekends. Schierman noted Stettler has one such dayhome.
Lastly, Schierman noted the local dayhome agency is fully accredited, and not only meets government standards but exceeds them. She noted staff and operators take pride in that fact.
More information is available by calling Schierman at the Stettler Family Day Home Agency, 403-742-0221.