Read on for a list of frequently asked questions about our Centre and child care in Nova Scotia. If you have a question that’s not answered here, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!
What services do you offer?
We offer quality, licensed daycare for children under 5 years old (18 months and up). For older children (up to age 12), we offer a school-age program for students at Hawthorn Elementary School on Hawthorne Street in Dartmouth. The school-age program includes travel on foot to and from school on school days, after-school activities, and care during PD days and vacations.
We do not currently offer care for infants.
How large are you?
Our daycare at 91 Prince Albert Road is made up of three floors. Our bottom floor is for our toddlers (18 total), our middle floor is for our preschoolers (22 total), and our top floor is for our school aged children (20 total). Combined, we can offer care for a total of 60 children.
What are your hours and rates?
Please click here for our current rates and hours.
Do you accept children on subsidy? How do I know if I’m eligible for a subsidy?
We do accept children who are subsidized through the Nova Scotia’s Child Care Subsidy Program. This program helps eligible families pay for childcare at licensed facilities throughout Nova Scotia. For more information about this program and how to apply, click here.
What is a typical day like for the children?
For our children under age five, the day starts with drop-off and play time, and then snack time.
Around 10 am, if weather permits, we head out for a walk. We are lucky to be located within walking distance of three local playgrounds, and though we do have a play area on-site, we visit our local playgrounds almost every day! We’ll also go out exploring around the duck pond, looking at seasonal decorations, or sliding in the snow. The children love being outdoors, and the active play is great for their development.
Once we’re back at the daycare, we have lunch, and then nap time, and then a post-nap snack.
Each day we also have craft time, story time, and “circle time”, where we learn our letters and numbers, talk about the calendar and weather, and sing songs and rhymes. Our preschoolers also learn together by taking weekly trips to the local library at Alderney Landing, and having a “show and share” each Friday.
During warmer weather, we also have longer outings at least once a week. These might include a picnic, a bus or ferry ride, or a trip to a new playground.
We get outdoors every day the weather allows it, even in winter. We ask that your child comes well prepared for walking and cooler weather.
What is your staff turnover like?
We believe our staff are our greatest assets, and we strive to offer them positive working conditions and benefit packages. Almost all of our staff have been with us for longer than two years, and several staff members have been with us for over 15 years! We are very proud of our long-term staff retention, and we believe that stable and caring staff are an important part of your child’s care.
What does it mean that you’re a not-for-profit?
Being a not-for-profit means that we are owned by our community, and not by a single person or company. Any profits we might make at the end of the year aren’t paid out elsewhere, but are invested back into the daycare and our staff.
By being a not-for-profit, we can keep rates lower for families. We can also put our full attention toward what really matters – providing the best possible environment we can for our community’s children.
Are you regularly inspected?
We are regularly inspected by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the Department of Environment, and the Fire Department. You can find our inspection reports, as well as those of all Nova Scotia’s licensed daycares, online here.
What are the rules surrounding licensed day cares in Nova Scotia?
Licensed day cares in Nova Scotia are regulated by the Day Care Act. You can find information about day care regulations here, and about licensing here.
What kind of food do the children eat?
We provide lunch and two snacks daily to the children in our care. Our lunches are made from scratch every day on-site, and follow the nutrition guidelines outlined by the Government of Nova Scotia. You can see those guidelines here.
Copies of our monthly menus are posted at the Centre for parents to view anytime.
Can I visit my child whenever I want?
Yes, you can stop by the centre to see or pick up your child at any time. If we are away on an outing, we leave a notice on the door so parents can find us.
We also are committed to supporting breastfeeding, and will make a quiet space available for any nursing mothers.
What if my child is sick?
We follow the guidelines set by the provincial Department of Health and Early Childhood Development Services. As stated in the guidelines, children must stay home if they have any of the following:
- A fever higher than 100.4 F or 38 C
- Persistent cough
- Breathing difficulty
- Rash with fever
Prescription medications can only be administered by staff after all the necessary forms are completed and signed by the parent/guardian.
Even if your child is sick and unable to attend, we still require payment of fees.
Have your staff had background checks?
Yes. As required by the Daycare Act, we require regular background checks and child abuse registry checks for all our staff.
Can my child have a “warm-up” period to get used to the daycare?
Of course! To help your child transition to our program, we suggest a three-day integration schedule before beginning full-time. We suggest an hour with a parent on the first day – this gives the child time to explore their new environment and parents a chance to talk to staff and become familiar with our program and routine. The second day we suggest the child stay until lunchtime, and the third day until after naptime. We can also be flexible based on the needs of you and your child.
What time does my child need to arrive every day?
We ask that your child arrives no later than 9:30 am, so they can take part in our regular morning outings. If you’ll be later than 9:30 am, please call and let us know.
What if I’m late picking up my child?
We close at 5:30 pm every day, and require that all children are picked up by then. If you’re later than 5:30 pm, a late fee will be charged.
What payment options do you offer?
We request that families use a direct withdrawal system, with fees removed directly from your bank account at the first of each month.
Do you provide receipts?
Yes, we provide a receipt after each monthly payment. These can then be used to claim deductions on your income tax. To learn more about Canada’s child care deductions and how to claim them, visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s website here.