May 03, 2021
OCCC and Oxford County aim to boost the availability of licensed child care in Oxford County
New campaign invites parents to explore the benefits of Licensed Home Child Care
Choosing the right child care provider is an important decision for every family. Many parents ultimately weigh the choice between licensed child care centres and private in-home care. However, a third option is available. Licensed Home Child Care providers are thoroughly screened, supported and monitored by a licensed child care agency. Financial support is available to eligible families with children in licensed care.
In Oxford County, Oxford Community Child Care (OCCC) is licensed to support 50 at-home child care providers but currently only has seven on its roster. The agency is hoping to affiliate more at-home providers and, ultimately, bring more licensed spaces to children in Oxford County.
OCCC Executive Director Heidi Collins says there are financial benefits for providers who become affiliate members of their agency. Affiliate caregivers are eligible for the Home Childcare Enhancement Grant. “It is provided by the Ministry of Education and is based on the number of children and the hours of care given. It provides an extra 10 to 20 dollars per day, and that adds up quite a bit.” Collins also pointed out that their organization reduces the administrative burden by taking care of billing and collecting money from registered parents. “Income is guaranteed even if parents do not pay their bills,” she added.
One recent child care provider who has become affiliated with OCCC is Kate MacDonald. In addition to the financial advantages, she said there are resources available to deal with behaviour issues. “I had a child who was spitting everywhere. I tried different techniques that I have used in the past, and I looked online for a solution. But just being able to talk to my contact at OCCC helped me come up with a plan and work with the parents to get the child to stop spitting.” She added that resolving the issue was even more crucial because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Becoming an affiliated child care provider does require a thorough inspection after the completion of a lengthy checklist. MacDonald said that being a mother of two children herself, she would rather know her provider was following all the protocols they should be. “I know people are turned off knowing that the Ministry could show up for an inspection at any time, but to me, that gives peace of mind. I have no concerns if someone were to show up here today to come to see how I run my program because I have nothing to hide,” she added. MacDonald is thankful for the support of the OCCC during COVID-19. “If I were on my own, it would have been much more difficult to cover all the bases. Having their knowledge and ability to consult with the Ministry has helped immensely.”
For parents, there are numerous benefits to choosing a child care provider affiliated with OCCC. In addition to offering quality child care in a comfortable home-like setting, OCCC affiliate members provide flexible hours and convenient neighbourhood locations. Also, children in licensed care, including those affiliated with OCCC, may be eligible for Child Care fee subsidies available through Oxford County. More information, including a calculator to estimate how much assistance may be available, can be found at www.oxfordcounty.ca/childcare.
More information on becoming an affiliated childcare provider is available at www.oxfordccc.ca or by calling 519-539-4419.
Social media and online content
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About Oxford County
Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403, Oxford County has a population of approximately 121,000 people across eight area municipalities that are “growing stronger together.” As a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government, Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy, becoming a zero waste community and working towards zero poverty. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture is a key industry that is driving innovation in sustainable industries and diversifying the local economy. Oxford County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock, Ontario. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow our social media sites at www.oxfordcounty.ca/social. Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at oxfordcounty.ca/strategicplan.
Oxford Community Child Care (OCCC) Inc. is a non-profit organization formed in 1987 by a volunteer Board of Directors. OCCC is a multi-service organization offering early learning and child care, licensed home child care, preschool, school age programs.Our vision is to partner with community agencies and provide the leadership necessary to offer services that promote the healthy growth, development, and learning in children and their families in Oxford County.
Donna Kemp | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3158 | email@example.com