I was 9 months into being a new mom and one thing was clear, I wanted to stay at home with my bundle of cuteness. I also wanted to contribute to the household finances. I started making a list of the things I wanted.
- I wanted to be an entrepreneur in my own business
- I wanted to have a community of support people
- I really wanted to work with children.
A friend of mine, actually a local child care Provider with the Muskoka Home Child Care Agency (MHCCA), suggested that I consider being a childcare provider. It was a lighted tunnel epiphany and it became so obvious that this was what I was meant to do. I felt excited and eager to start on the journey.
I connected with the MHCCA team, and their support right from the start was stellar. They answered my 101 questions, they walked me through the paperwork and health and safety requirements, they gave me a proverbial toolbox of information and they even supplied materials like cots, highchairs, change pads, and some toys.
They visited with me regularly and we still chat about everything from child development to the best early childhood practices to my mother’s cancer treatments.
I joined in on their monthly Agency Team Meetings and their Professional Learning series and within no time, I felt like I belonged to this community of incredibly dedicated and engaged professionals.
My understanding of the importance of Play expanded beyond my wildest expectations. I see children as capable, competent and uniquely curious. I’m now hearing myself talk about how loose parts materials and responsive relationships strengthen and create synapses in the brain. Yes, that’s right, I’m learning about neuroscience. Thankfully they break it down in a way that I can understand and can incorporate into my program.
From the beginning, knowing if this would be financially viable had me a little concerned. I can honestly say that I don’t know how I would have done it without the MHCCA. They take care of billing and collecting fees and I get paid bi-weekly.
Families have absent days where they aren’t billed but I still get paid. Families are able to apply for Fee Subsidy. I get a $20 Wage Enhancement Grant for everyday I’m open and I get a lot of unexpected but seriously appreciated top up funds throughout the year.
They’re even so sweet as to drop off little appreciation gifts throughout the year. My families are grateful as well that they will be a part of the Canada Wide Early Learning and Child Care agreement where their child care fees will be more affordable.
Lastly, this journey has given me some of the most meaningful and important relationships in my life. These little fingers that hold my hand on a walk, or twirl around during a rousing song of “roly poly”, have forever changed my life. I’m their home away from home and I take pride in knowing that I have a job that impacts the future development of each and every child in my program.
The families have my utmost respect and admiration. We’ve built this incredible foundation of trust and open communication and I feel honoured that I am able to have such a huge impact on their lives.
Overall, my experience with the Agency has been life changing and a journey that I’m so proud to be on.
Click here for more information on the Muskoka Home Child Care Agency.