We often hear about the lack of child care spaces and qualified trained child care staff throughout Canada. Recently there were two articles published; the Winnipeg Sun on January 15th as well as CJOB on January 12th indicating there were over 12,000 child care spaces required for children in Manitoba. This fact is astounding to me as I have now experienced both spectrums, being one of those parents on a wait list and being an aspiring licensed home daycare provider. Frustrated with the waiting and little hope of getting my youngest daughter into a before and after school program I decided to make a drastic career change. I left my corporate health care job of 8 years to open a licensed home daycare in June of 2015. At the time I had no idea how challenging opening a home daycare would be. It seemed like a viable solution as I would not only be able to spend more time with my children, I would also supplement my income.
It has now been close to 7 months and I can honestly say that working with the children has been fantastic and the time I get with my kids is invaluable. My frustration and reason for writing this article stems from the red tape and lack of support for opening licenced home daycares. Again, it is now been almost 7 months and I am no where near being licensed. I have spent countless hours and money on postage, orientations, education, etc. only to have them returned with direction to resubmit as their policies have changed. I understand the necessity of having the proper background checks, home requirements, etc. however I do not understand why the process is so tedious and non-user friendly. You would think that with over 12,000 spaces required that the government would be bending over backwards to assist legitimate individuals who are trying to open a licensed home daycare.
At a mandatory licensing orientation I had attended, I discovered that there is under twenty licensed home daycares within the River East Transcona Area which is where I am trying to open. If you view this on a map, this area is significantly large as it also includes the rural regions. This was unbelievably astonishing to me. Why is this number so low? Well, now I know why. The regulations are so ridiculous that most people get frustrated and give up before achieving their license. There has got to be a more practical solution to become licensed.
The complicated regulations and red tape involved with home daycares is frustrating. Why does one need to be have diploma in early childhood education to convert a double car detached garage to utilize as additional home daycare space if it meets all the regulations? However, if the double car garage is attached to the house, this is completely acceptable? This is yet another road block with ludicrous policies. I am growing increasingly frustrated and at my wits end with having hopes of becoming a licensed home daycare provider. Although the parents within my program are delighted with the services I provide, this doesn’t seem to be enough to the granters of licenses.
After experiencing the grueling licensing process, I continue to be both a frustrated parent and aspiring licensed home daycare provider. The parties involved in the child care licencing need to take a long hard look at these unrealistic hurdles involved in order to improve the daycare situation. I believe that the parents on these lengthy wait lists have no insight as to what the actual underlying issue is.