We provide care for children from infancy to 12 years of age.
Both full- and part-time programs are available 52 weeks per year, Monday to Friday. Most home providers offer daycare service up to a maximum of 12 hours per day, from 7:00am to 7:00pm. If additional daycare hours are needed, parents may make arrangements with the providers and the agency.
The office is open from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Our daycare homes are closed on the following statutory holidays: New Year Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and Boxing Day. Parents who require daycare on those days should arrange for alternative backup care. Some providers may be willing to provide care for those days at a special rate. Subsidized parents will be required to submit an employment letter stating the parents will be working on the holidays and must have prior-approval from Children's Services.
Twinkle Stars P.H.D.C. does not charge a fee to place a child's name on the waiting list for child care. The agency aims to manage admissions with fairness and transparency.
Waiting List Management:
To place a child on the waiting list, parents must call the agency to provide the following information: Parents' full names, contact phone number, child's name, child's date of birth, expected start date, nearest major intersection of home/work/school, program type, and any other preferences.
The seniority date on the waiting list is the date the agency is provided with the required information by phone.
When a space becomes available, the agency will contact the family with highest seniority date with the matching care requirements (distance, age group, program type, special requests, etc.)
If the contacted family is not interested in the space available, the family with the second highest seniority and matching care requirements will be offered the space.
If a family is contacted for a space and does not wish to accept it at the time, its seniority on the waiting list remains unchanged.
Parents may call to change information at any time and the seniority on the waiting list remains unchanged.
Parents may contact the agency to inquire about the best approximation of their status on the waiting list.
The agency reserves the right to give priorities to siblings to ensure that siblings are cared for in one location.
Waiting-list families' information are kept confidential and are accessible only by agency staff, home visitors, and home providers whose daycare homes are being offered to the families.
Admission: The agency will attempt to place your child in a daycare home which is close to your home or work/school. An interview will be arranged for you and your child to meet the prospective provider. When a decision has been made as to your child's placement, you will be required to fill out an application and necessary forms at our office.
Withdrawal: Prior to your child's withdrawal from the daycare program, a written two-week notice is required. Both parents and providers reserve the right to give a two-week notice due to moving, incompatibility, distance, unresolved behaviour problems, habitual late pick-up, or other special requests. The two-week notice is also required in case of a transfer to another day care home. A one-week to one-month withdrawal notice may be given due to non-payment or habitual late payment of fees. Where a child’s safety is involved, or an abusive act, either verbal or physical, is made against any staff member, home provider or client, by the parent, family member or their agent, the withdrawal shall be immediate.
Young children depend on regular routines for their own security; therefore, we ask that a fixed drop-off and pick-up schedule be confirmed with your home provider and the agency prior to admission. Unless arranged otherwise, your child will not be released to any person other than those specified on the daycare application. Parents must notify the home provider if someone else will be picking up the child. If the person is unknown to the home provider, a photo identification is required. Should late pick-up occurs, your home provider must be informed as soon as possible and a late pick-up fee may be charged by the home provider. If the child is to arrive late or to be absent, the parents need to inform the provider at least one hour before the scheduled time.
Subsidized Parents: Each subsidized child is allowed 35 days per year (January-December), including vacation, sick and absent days by Children’s Services. Absences are not to exceed 20 consecutive days. If your child is absent for more than 35 days (due to vacation, sick or absenteeism), you will be responsible for paying the full fee. Requests for additional days, beyond the 35 days, may be approved through an appeal process. Appeals will be considered by Children's Services for exceptional cases only, such as when your child has a serious illness, documented medical needs, or special needs.
If your child is enrolled between July and December, only 18 absent days are allowed.
If the child transfers to another daycare center or agency, the allotment and number of days already taken will also be transferred the new placement.
Both subsidized parents with an assessed daycare fee and full-fee parents are required to pay for all absent days including absence due to illness, vacation, statutory holidays, or any other reason. Parents will not be charged for days that their home providers are unable to provide care and back-up care is not needed, in which case the attendance will be marked “U” for the home providers’ unavailability and the home providers will not receive any payment. If both parties agree to arrange their vacations at the same time, the attendance form will be marked “A” for absence and the parents will be required to pay the daycare fees for the absence days.
Subsidized Parents: Your daycare fee rate is determined by Children's Services. The daycare fee rate may be changed from time to time; thus, it is the parents’ responsibility to verify the rate with their subsidy workers. Daycare fee adjustment will be made when the agency is informed of the fee-rate change by Children's Services.
Full-fee Parents: Please consult the agency for our current rates.
No registration fee is required. A refundable two-week deposit is required prior to or on the admission date for all parents who have a daycare fee. Monthly fee payment must be received by the agency by the 5th day of each month. Receipts will be issued upon parent’s request (ie. payment by cash). The agency does not send out monthly invoices, unless there is an outstanding balance.
Please call the office before dropping by to make a payment. Payment by cheques and money orders should be made payable to Twinkle Stars P.H.D.C. and sent to our office at 1279 Weston Rd., Toronto, ON M6M 4R2.
An annual receipt will be issued at the end of each year for income tax purpose.
Parents should verify the attendance form (filled out by the home provider )on the last working day of each Savemonth. Please sign the attendance form in advance if you will not be able to sign it on the last working day of the month or if your child will transfer out or withdraw from the program.
Daily contact between parents and provider ensures that the parents' expectations and the provider's concerns are discussed and responded appropriately. Parents are encouraged to inform the provider the types of activities the child enjoys, participate in daily programming, volunteer to help out with excursions, spend a few minutes at drop-off/pick-up time to talk about the child's day, communicate concerns or suggestions, and attend workshops sponsored by the agency. Parents are expected to provide extra change of laundered clothes, blankets, cream/lotion, and diapers as required.
Our home providers plan their menus in consultation with the parents and home visitors. Children who attend daycare 6 hours or more will receive a nutritious lunch and morning and afternoon snacks daily. Children who attend school full time will be provided with morning and afternoon snack. These meals comply with the nutrition requirements as set out in the CCEYA (Health Canada’s “Eating Well With Canada Food Guide”). Parents are required to give written instructions and supply food and milk for children under one year of age. Any food or drink brought to the provider's home must be labeled with the child's name. If the child is on a special diet, the parents will need to give the provider and agency written instructions. All food or drink is stored, prepared and served so as to retain maximum nutritive value and prevent contamination.
The home provider will administer only prescribed medication to the daycare children. Parents are required to complete and sign a Medication Consent form before medication is to be given. All medications to be administered must be in their original containers and have the pharmacist’s label with the child's name, name of medication, instructions for the administration of the drugs, date of purchase, storage instruction, and the physician's name. Over-the-counter medication will only be administered with the child’s physician’s written instructions and a signed Medication Consent form from the parents.
Upon parent’s request, kindergarten or school-age children may carry and self-administer emergency medication (eg. asthma inhaler or Epi-Pen). A Medication Consent For Self-Administration form must be completed and signed by the child’s physician and parent. The medication must be its original container and labeled with child’s name, name of medication, date of purchase, instructions for administration and storage.
Children must have up-to-date immunizations prior to attending our daycare homes. If your child is not immunized due to a medical reason,the Statement of Medical Exemption for Child form must be completed and signed by a physician; or if it is due to conscience or religious beliefs, the Statement of Conscience or Religious Beliefs form must be completed and notarized. In the case that your child is not immunized against an outbreak disease that is occurring in the daycare home, your child should be kept at home or transferred to another daycare home during the outbreak.
Daily observation of each child is made by the home provider before the child begins to associate with others in order to detect possible symptoms of illness. To prevent the spread of infectious diseases to other persons, the child should be kept at home if he/she has any illness symptoms, i.e. a fever of 101oF or 38.5oC or higher, vomiting, diarrhea, pink eye, chicken pox, etc.. If illness symptoms develop during the daycare hours, the child will be separated from other children and the home provider will contact the parents to request the child to be picked up. The child can then return to the daycare home when the symptoms are cleared and/or advised by a physician.
If the child has been diagnosed with an anaphylactic allergy, the parents will be requested to fill out an individual anaphylaxis emergency plan and train the home provider, backup persons, and family members on the child’s emergency plan prior to placement. Parents are required to inform and update with the home provider and home visitor of any allergy and changes.
Each child who attends day care for 6 hours or more is required to have at least 2 hours of outdoor play, weather permitting, unless a doctor or the parents advise otherwise in writing. Outdoor play will be supervised in accordance with agreed-upon plans between the parents, home provider, and home visitor.
With parent’s consent, the daycare children may accompany the home provider on local errands and excursions (i.e. going to the library, park, playground, shopping, drop-in center, etc.). More extensive outings to special places of interest may occasionally be planned, in these cases, parents will receive a prior notice with detailed information and a consent form to sign and return to the home provider.
Each toddler or preschool child who attends daycare for 6 hours or more will have a rest period not exceeding 2 hours in length. Toddler, preschool, and kindergarten children are permitted to sleep, rest, or engage in quiet activities based on their individual needs.
Children under 18 months will be provided with a playpen, whereas children between 18 months and 5 years of age will be provided with a cot. Should a mat be used for children between 18 months and 5 years of age, a prior written approval from the Ministry of Education must be obtained by the agency. Parents will be informed of their children’s sleep arrangements at the time of registration or whenever there are changes.
Children under 12 months will be placed on their backs to sleep (as recommended in the Public Health Agency of Canada’s “Joint Statement of Safe Sleep”), unless a child’s physician recommends otherwise in writing. All children will sleep or rest with their faces uncovered. Home providers will visually check on sleeping children at regular intervals for indicators of distress or unusual behaviours and will document the checks in a sleep monitoring chart.
When the home providers are selected, their attitudes towards child discipline and behaviour management are also considered. Behaviour management principles and methods are discussed during the provider orientation, workshops, training sessions, and reviewed yearly with the providers and their household members. While providing a nurturing care and positive learning environment for the children, home providers may at times encounter some inappropriate behaviours and must set guidelines and limits. In those occasions, the home providers must abide with the behaviour management policy and discipline the children in a positive manner at the level appropriate for their actions and ages. Views and philosophies on behaviour management are welcomed at the initial meeting between the parents and the prospective provider. The provider is required to inform the parents of any behaviour problems and discipline method applied at pick-up time.
The following practices are prohibited at all times in the daycare homes:
-Corporal punishment of the child.
-Physical restraint of the child, such as confining the child to a high chair, car seat, stroller or other device for the purposes of discipline or in lieu of supervision, unless the physical restraint is for the purpose of preventing a child from hurting himself, herself or someone else, and is used only as a last resort and only until the risk of injury is no longer imminent;
-Locking the exits of the child care centre or home child care premises for the purpose of confining the child, or confining the child in an area or room without adult supervision, unless such confinement occurs during an emergency and is required as part of the licensee’s emergency management policies and procedures;
-Use of harsh or degrading measures or threats or use of derogatory language directed at or used in the presence of a child that would humiliate, shame or frighten the child or undermine his or her self-respect, dignity or self-worth;
-Depriving the child of basic needs including food, drink, shelter, sleep, toilet use, clothing or bedding; or
-inflicting any bodily harm on children including making children eat or drink against their will.
Children are supervised by a home provider or backup provider (person over 18 years of age and with parent’s consent) at all times. Home providers are responsible for the daily routines and providing care for and supervising the daycare children. Daycare children cannot be left alone with volunteers or students, without the supervision of a home provider at any time. Volunteers and students can provide assistance but under the supervision and guidance of a home provider.
Serious occurrences, including injuries, abuse, death, child missing, and unsafe daycare disruptions , ie. flood and fire, will be reported immediately within 24 hours to the Ministry of Education and Children’s Services. A Serious Occurrence Notification Form will be posted in a conspicuous place, ie. the bulletin board, in the daycare home where the serious occurrence has happened. It is a legal duty for all staff, home providers, students, volunteers to report suspicions of child abuse to Children’s Aid Society. The person who suspects child abuse will not tell anyone about his/her suspicion, the intention to report, or that a report has been made, until after consultation with Children’s Aid Society.
To protect children from mishaps, all daycare children are prohibited from using or having access to all standing bodies of water (e.g., ponds) and recreational in-ground / above-ground swimming, portable / “kiddie” / inflatable wading-type, and hydro-massage pools, hot tubs, and spas located on or outside of the home daycare premises.
All daycare homes that have standing bodies of water / swimming pools must be in compliance with local by-laws requiring private residences with standing bodies of water / pools etc. in their catchment area to have an enclosure, e.g., fence and a latched gate. (Ministry of Education’s regulations)
We encourage clear and open communication. Should there be a conflict parents may wish to have a discussion with the staff/home providers involved, in a time and place away from the children, to find a resolution. If after this discussion, both parents, staff or home providers feel the issue is still not resolved within 5 business days, the matter can be brought to the supervisor or executive director. A resolution will be offered within the next 5 business days. Should the parents/staff/home providers feel that the concern has not been answered, they may submit in writing the concern to the Chair of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors’ decision will be final.
The Ministry of Education requires that all agencies funded or licensed by the Ministry develop and implement the Program Statement Policy & Procedures. These policy and procedures apply to all Twinkle Stars P.H.D.C.’s staff, home providers, home providers’ family members, volunteers and students.
All Twinkle Stars P.H.D.C.’s staff, home providers, home providers’ family members, volunteers, and students must implement the approaches specified in the agency’s Program Statement, which is consistent with the Ministry of Education’s “How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years”.
IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY
The Program Statement outlines the agency's goals and approaches that are implemented in our daily curriculum. With the inclusion of all children of all backgrounds and special needs, home providers are expected to provide opportunities in their daycare homes to support the children in their wellbeing and belonging while giving times for self expression and fostering positive communication and interactions. Home providers are required to promote safety, nutrition, and health by maintaining a safe daycare environment and constant supervision of the children; providing nutritious meals and snacks based on Canada's Food Guideline and in consultation with parents and home visitors; and providing adequate indoor and outdoor activities. Communication with parents is encouraged at drop off and pickup times. Home providers are also required to work with other professionals who assist their program with help and ideas. Home providers, staff, students, and volunteers, staff can support in accomplishing the goals and approaches through discussions, professional development workshops, training sessions, etc..
Before interacting with children, new home providers, persons who are ordinarily residents of the premises or regularly at the premises, staff, volunteers and students will be oriented to the agency's Program Statement, which is also reviewed and signed off yearly or any time there is an update. Through monthly visit observations, quarterly safety checks, and reports from parents, the daycare homes are monitored for compliance with the approaches set out in the Program Statement and the commission of any prohibited practices. The impact of the goals stated in the Program Statement will be reviewed with the home providers and their family members and also documented. The Parent Handbook, which includes the Program Statement and other general information, is available to all registering parents and persons who inquire about child care.
The following prohibited practices are not permitted:
MEASURES TO DEAL WITH CONTRAVENTION OF POLICIES AND PRACTICES
Contraventions of the Program Statement deliberately or constantly and/or any violations of prohibited practices will result disciplinary or corrective action or in the termination of contract for childcare services, employment, or placement immediately.
Individuals who have observed a prohibited-practice incident must report directly to Children's Aid. Home visitors must abide by the College of Early Childhood Educators’ Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice as well as all applicable and relevant legislation, regulations, by-laws and policies.