Posted by: Hannah | 11/04/2015

day 4

When I woke up this morning, my migraine was gone, for which we give thanks to the flying spaghetti monster and the miracle of Advil.

Thank goodness, because random things have been careening at me all day, and if I was still in pain there is no way I’d be able to cope. As it is, I’m just sort of breathless at all the whipping from thing to thing.

First up was Charlie, who arrived in a right state because he was holding a package of gum and his mom (rightly) said he couldn’t bring it into my house. Cue the outraged waterworks, and when Charlie arrives in a mood it lasts for hours. Lots of distraction and a forced march outdoors in the chilly November air were the order of the day.

Over the lunch hour Justin Trudeau and his new cabinet were sworn in, and oh my goodness, all the feels. It is the most diverse and inclusive cabinet this country has ever had. Half of the ministers are women! There is a new Ministry of Science! The Ministry of Environment is now the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change. The Immigration portfolio is now overseen by the Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship & Refugees. Words matter. Those words matter. I was a bit of a blubbering mess all through lunch as a result.

Then naptime had barely started when I heard from another local caregiver – her neighbour needs care for his 17 month old and she can’t commit long-term. That’s great! That’s awesome! Sure, pass along my phone number, here it is! Not two minutes after I clicked “send” the phone rang. Very nice dad, sounded quite harassed. His daughter has never been in care; he’s been working nights and mom’s been working days so that one of them could always be home with her. Dad just found out today that his shift has been changed and now they need afternoon-only care five days a week. Excellent!

They need care starting MONDAY.

This is problematic, because I need to give at least a week’s notice to Arthur’s parents that I can no longer offer after-school care. Two weeks would be better. I’ll still meet with them – they have a grandparent who might be able to pitch in for a while, and the caregiver who referred them might also be able to pitch in – but I want this to work out so badly it hurts. So I sent along my policy handbook and booked an interview for Friday afternoon. All I can do is see if we can work something out, I guess.

No sooner had THAT been dealt with than another local provider contacted our business group to say that she’d had a home visit (!) from a provincial childcare licensing officer (!!) who told her that as long as her promotional materials don’t include the word “unlicensed” that she’s operating illegally (!!!!).

Now, I’m unlicensed. So is this lady. So are many excellent in-home childcare providers. In brief, there are four options for non-family childcare in Nova Scotia:

  1. licensed daycare facilities
  2. agency-registered in-home facilities
  3. unregistered in-home facilities
  4. sketchy in-home care

The first three on that list are all governed by the same Nova Scotia Daycare Act. With a few exceptions – mostly to do with ratios – the rules are the same. The fourth charge half-nothing, don’t issue receipts in direct violation of Canada’s tax laws, and care for more kids than the law allows.

However, the general public equates “unregistered” with “sketchy”. It would be professional suicide to write “unlicensed” on all of your promotional material. So, for example, my business website says “I am compliant with all regulations in the Nova Scotia Daycare Act governing unlicensed in-home childcare” – but I can’t put that on my lawn sign unless I get a sign ten feet high.

Now, apparently, government bureaucrats getting paid a lot more than I do are visiting compliant homes offering excellent care and threatening to shut them down over semantics. (I hasten to add that I’m not familiar with anyone claiming to be registered when they aren’t. Even the sketchy ones don’t do that.)

So, you know, that’s nuts.

After THAT, I checked the mail, and Michael has two Very Interesting Letters. The sort of letters that make you want to steam them open because the curiosity threatens to overwhelm you. I texted him at work to ask if I could open them (I often do this because I am a terrible person)… and HE HASN’T RESPONDED YET.

I mean, come on.

I hope tomorrow is a little quieter. I feel like I’ve been in a pillow fight where all the pillows were filled with laughing gas (I think Stephen King said that first, but it’s apt).





    I am all UP WITH PEOPLE over here. 😀

    It’s been a great day!

    Now what the heck are you waiting for? Put the kettle on. Those letters won’t steam themselves. 😉

  2. Forgive me for knowing absolutely nothing about Canadian provinces, but in Ontario they just passed a bill that a lot of providers were upset with – one of the provisions said that they must state they are not licensed on all materials, ads, etc. It got pretty heated on some day care forums… I’m thinking Nova Scotia isn’t in Ontario? But I find where I am the states all seem to be working towards having the same extreme ridiculous regulations that make it impossible for in home caregivers. So it may be headed your way soon.
    I hope the 17 month old works out for you – I have two 18 month olds right now and they are adorable.

    • Nova Scotia is on the east coast, but I do know that the new Ontario regulations are *very* strict. We here in Nova Scotia are watching closely. Right now we’ve got one of the most relaxed ratios in the country (6 kids under 5, or 8 school aged) and we’re all nervous that it will change. We assume that the current crackdown is related to the new regs in Ontario; there would be little political will to revamp the current regs to make them more strict, when until very recently enforcement of the existing regs was pretty half-assed. So… we’ll see.

      I love the 12 – 30 month age group. Those kids are SO FUN! Everything you do with them is exciting and they are thrilled by it all.

  3. Charlie? I don’t even KNOW Charlie! WTH?
    Geez, yeah, talk about emotional whiplash. Best wishes on the stupid government crap.

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