Frequently Asked Questions
We get a lot of questions about our facility, ranging from how we differ from a Montessori school, to how we vet our teachers and staff. For answers to our most frequently asked questions, check out the FAQ list below!
THE BUSINESS SIDE OF KIDZ KARE
How long has Kidz Kare been operating?
Kidz Kare started in 2003 in Mississauga, Ontario. As it grew, it eventually found its new home in downtown Toronto in February of 2013.
Is Kidz Kare licensed?
Yes! Kidz Kare is a fully licensed childcare facility.
Does Kidz Kare offer any services on holidays?
The Kidz Kare daycare is closed on most statutory holidays, but our Kasual Kare division offers babysitting services whenever you need it! Kidz Kare operates between Christmas and New Year, as well as during the summers!
Is your daycare for profit or not-for-profit?
Kidz Kare is a non-profit organization (NPO), which means that all tuition fees, donations, and other income goes towards the operation of Kidz Kare and investments in your child’s education.
Why is Kidz Kare a not-for-profit centre
We chose to structure Kidz Kare as a non-profit organization (NPO) because one of the goals when creating it was to give back to the community. As a NPO, Kidz Kare has the independence to operate as efficiently as any other company and with relative autonomy on how we choose to invest our income to serve our students. While Kidz Kare does have an Advisory Board, we are not required to get approval from this board for every decision. In fact, the day-to-day operations of Kidz Kare are independent of the board. In other words, if we need a plumber, we can simply call them!
What is the difference between a non-profit organization and a charity?
There are two main types of not-for-profit organizations: non-profits and registered charities. As the titles suggest, both non-profit organizations and registered charities are prohibited from operating for the purposes of earning a profit. Just to be clear, that does not mean that they cannot earn more than they spend – they can. What it means is that anything that a not-for-profit organization earns has to be re-invested into the organization or donated to an appropriately certified charity/organization. In other words, nobody is getting wealthy from the proceeds of a not-for-profit.
How much does it cost?
We have a variety of packages available to meet the specific needs of your family. Please contact us to visit the centre and learn more about our pricing options.
Do I still pay if my child does not attend (if we are on vacation, for example)?
Yes, it is a set fee.
Even if your children do not attend on a given day, we still hold their spots for them. We have enough teachers, food, and educational material every day to support a full class. Your set fee covers these expenses. If you anticipate that your child’s schedule will be so unpredictable that this model does not make sense for your family, contact us to see if we can create a customized, flexible service through one of our other Kidz Kare divisions!
What accreditations does Kidz Kare have?
The Ministry of Education, which makes annual visits to ensure that regulations are being met and followed, licenses Kidz Kare. The Ministry of Education also maintains contact throughout the year regarding changes in legislation or requirements. In addition, we receive quarterly visits from Public Health, which inspects our kitchen, food preparation and storage. A Public Health representative visits annually to ensure classrooms are following all health and safety related guidelines with respect to illnesses, disinfecting, maintaining immunization records, etc.
Do you offer discounts for siblings?
We do offer a discount for having multiple siblings enrolled in Kidz Kare. Please contact us for more details.
Do you offer scholarships?
While we do not yet offer scholarships, we would like to start doing so and are in the process of expanding our fundraising efforts accordingly. Please contact us if you would like to contribute to these efforts.
BEHIND THE SCENES
What is a Kare Representative?
Customer Kare Representatives are part of our Kidz Kare administration team. They provide support to the teachers and the Kidz Kare supervisor as well as being the first point of contact for the families. They assist in the day-to-day running of the centre and help ensure that licensing standards are being met and maintained. They are essential to the daily operation of Kidz Kare and ensuring that we can maintain our high standard of kare.
Why is a Kare Representative occasionally in the classroom?
Maintaining proper ratios between teachers and students are a requirement of every daycare’s licensing; something we take very seriously. If a caregiver is needed elsewhere for a parent interview or feels ill and has to depart the class/centre, we are obligated to provide an immediate replacement in the classroom. A Kare Representative will fill that demand. We also groom and train our roster of supply teachers through the Kidz Kare head office to ensure that we have qualified and capable replacements available for our classrooms when necessary. At times, you can even expect to see our very own supervisor in the classrooms as these teaching opportunities help to keep her in touch with the growing needs in each of our rooms.
How do you choose what the children eat?
We understand that a nutritious diet is not only one of the key factors in the development and ongoing health of children, but also improves their ability to learn. We also understand that children want to eat things that are fun. At Kidz Kare, we believe they can have both. Our menu follows the Child Care and Early Years Act as well as the Canadian Food Guide . The children will eat a wide range of different things, from mini-sliders to hummus on whole wheat Melba toast.
Do you cook in house or cater your food?
We do both! We have a fantastic onsite cook who prepares as much of the food for the staff and students as possible. In the event that the kitchen staff is unable to cook on a specific day (perhaps the cook is away or the staff is preparing for a special event), our fantastic catering partner, Yummy Catering , will take over. Whether it is our own staff preparing the meals or Yummy Catering, we follow nutritional guidelines to provide balanced, delicious meals to both our children and staff.
Can you accommodate Halal or Kosher diets?
We can accommodate special dietary needs and requests on a case-by-case basis, with the approval of the Supervisor. Please contact our Supervisor if you have questions about this.
My child developed a strong relationship with her teacher and now we are nervous that she will not thrive when she moves into a new room?
Adaptability is a skill that children fail to develop if they are not exposed to opportunities within their early formative years. Changing classrooms is a great way to allow children to develop their ability to adapt in a very safe way. Our team members are experienced in building trust and developing relationships with all the children in our care; their patience and nurturing demeanors instill comfort and make a child feel at home. Through this experience, children can learn that change can be a positive experience and they will develop the skills to adapt. In addition, Kidz Kare’s choice to rotate teachers ensures that children become familiar with all the teachers at the centre – not just the ones in their classrooms. This also helps to promote an environment that is more like a family.
Children are often more resilient than we realise. We tend to project our fears onto our children and they often surprise us with their ability to respond to change in a positive way. They will recognize a safe and comfortable environment and adapt accordingly.
Do you have televisions or other electronics at Kidz Kare?
Every classroom does include a television. We use the televisions to augment the curriculum in activities such as phonics programming, music, and movement activities. They can be helpful to encourage Circle Time participation and as tools for making transitions between classroom routines. We also use the televisions for monthly Kasual Kare events where the children enjoy movies while parents get to have Date Night!
Why do teachers occasionally start teaching in different classrooms?
All caregivers at Kidz Kare are cross-trained to ensure their versatility and develop their teaching skills. Caregivers benefit from new challenges, and from time to time, they change classrooms to sharpen their skills, develop new skills, and bring fresh ideas and perspectives into the classes. We also ensure that senior educators pair up with newer teachers to ensure proper training and development until the probation period expires. Sometimes, this practice requires some movement between the classrooms.
Are you able to accommodate children with special needs?
Every child is different and we can accommodate children with a wide range of needs and abilities. If your child has special needs, contact our amazing supervisor to discuss what we can do to accommodate him or her.
How large are your classes?
The Kidz Kare toddler classes include between 10 and 15 toddlers. Each of the preschool classes includes 16 students and could expand to a maximum of 24 students in the future. There are 13 students in our Kinder class. Regardless of the class size, the staff-to-child ratio always remains constant.
How often do the toys get rotated and updated?
Toys and resources are rotated weekly between classrooms. We also have a special designated storage area for rotational materials that are accessible to all classes. In addition, there are many ‘staple’ resources that remain in each room, as they are constants for the children and provide a sense of stability, familiarity and predictability, which is essential in establishing a feeling of security away from home.
We maintain our toys and equipment in excellent condition and update them frequently, based on how they are wearing. Some non-profit daycares use fundraising to finance equipment renewal; at Kidz Kare, all of those costs come out of our operational budget. This means that the quality of our equipment can be maintained at the highest levels regardless of the progress of our fundraising activities.
What qualifications does the staff have?
Our staff qualifications vary depending on their roles. All of our Early Childhood Educators have a degree or diploma in Early Childhood Education and have a minimum of six months experience working with young children. They are also required to be members of the College of Early Childhood Educators.
Do teachers get breaks during the day?
We stagger our staff lunch breaks during naptime, when the children are sleeping and licensing allows the child-to-teacher ratio to be lower. We always have a Customer Kare Rep available for the occasions throughout the day when a teacher needs support or relief in the classroom.
What kind of feedback or assessment do you provide on my child’s progress?
We provide comprehensive report cards on a child’s progress; some of them can be up to eight pages long! In these, we detail the ways that your child has progressed towards meeting key developmental milestones and which areas he or she may need to work on in the future. Before we hand out report cards, we schedule a meeting with parents to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your child’s progress.
What is the difference between your curriculum and that of other daycares?
At Kidz Kare, we follow the High Scope curriculum. There are many options for daycare curriculum, most of which have distinct advantages. The high scope curriculum encourages active, participatory learning with flexible content that is adaptable to the individual needs of your child. The curriculum uses proven, research based learning strategies that help children excel in academic areas but also promote independence, curiosity, creativity, problem solving, decision making, and confidence. While there are many differences between high scope curriculum and the other options that are available (for more information, click here ), one of the key differences is our use of the ‘plan-do-review’ process. In this process, children of all ages plan the way they will approach an activity, follow through on their intentions, and then reflect on their experiences and achievements. This process strengthens executive functions that are essential to long-term success.
Beyond these curriculum differences, Kidz Kare takes caring for your child to an even higher level. In addition to our highly effective curriculum, the company values that we embody at Kidz Kare enhance our ability to genuinely care for your child. We believe that education is more than simply reaching developmental milestones; it is about offering children a loving, nurturing environment in which they can excel.
I like the idea of my children’s interests inspiring their daily learning. Is this something you do at Kidz Kare?
Absolutely! Children learn best when they are excited by the topics and activities they are exploring. As such, our teachers use the interests of their students to plan the next day’s or week’s activities. The teachers observe the children on a daily basis and watch for key interactions between children and for indications of interest in specific topics. The teachers then proceed to plan based on these observations. Our programming encompasses everything from arts and crafts to sensory learning, language, and circle time. The children themselves are the key to our programming as each day they show us what areas interest them.
How often do the children get to play outside?
All of our programming is structured! Children learn best through play, which is why our teachers facilitate play-based learning while also providing structure. Every day at Kidz Kare follows a routine that includes circle time, reading, gross and fine motor skill development, science, and the arts. Children play within this structure, playing independently and in groups, learning at their own pace with the expert guidance and encouragement of our caregivers. Every time a child masters a skill, our teachers are there to help them build on that new ability, adding complexity and inspiring new avenues for development. When you see our teachers playing with the students, what you are actually observing is structured teaching using methods that will be the most effective for your child’s individual abilities and inclinations.
My friends are sending their children to Montessori schools. How does the Kidz Kare curriculum compare with Montessori programs?
The Montessori program is one of the oldest curriculum models that emphasizes a child-centred approach to learning. It is likely that the Montessori approach inspired many of the developments in early childhood education that led to curriculum models like the Emergent and High Scope approaches. Kidz Kare uses the High Scope curriculum, which shares many of the advantages of a Montessori school, with several additional benefits. As with Montessori programs, High Scope curriculum encourages children to learn at their own pace and to engage in activities that interest them. The High Scope curriculum uses the child’s interests to inspire activities and learning. High Scope curriculum has the added benefit of using a plan-do-review model, in which children plan their own activities, follow through on their plans to meet their goals, and then reflect on their experiences. This helps children develop an array of ‘executive function’ skills that will be valuable for the rest of their lives.
I want to encourage my children’s creativity and individuality, but I also want to help them master concrete skills and develop abilities in math, language, and science that will create a strong foundation for their academic achievement. How do you balance these needs at Kidz Kare?
One of the benefits of the high scope curriculum model is that all of these aspects of development are integral components of the learning process. Creativity and individuality are as much a part of the educational milestones as math and language development. At Kidz Kare, we understand that learning is not limited to specific subjects, nor is learning in a specific subject isolated to developing only a single skill. The creative skills children learn through art or dramatic activities will be applied to other pursuits, just as their ability to read or count will enhance their creative play. In addition, we respect that each child is unique, with his or her own abilities and perspectives that we will nurture and encourage.
What religious education do you provide?
At Kidz Kare, we do not offer specific religious education, but we do respect and accept people from all religious and ethnic backgrounds. When a special religious or cultural celebration is coming up on the calendar, we make sure to teach all our children about the importance of those events and beliefs. For example, in December, we teach our students about Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and invite parents to tell us if there are other celebrations they would like us to include in our discussions. We respect and value beliefs from many different faiths, and we teach our students to do the same.
Any more questions?
If you have any questions that were not answered on this page, please let us know! We’d be happy to get back to you with any more information that you require. Please allow for 24 hours for our response.