offering full-time, private, child care, in the Southfork community of Leduc.
we have one spot left for children 2 and under. two spots remaining for kids 3 +
*All the images on this website are taken in our home, by jess
Approch to Childcare...
I want to support your efforts to provide your child with a playful childhood that offers a slow and joyful way of living. Free of chaos and the busyness that modern-day living offers.
I want your kids to feel comfortable and safe in our home, to experience play through both guided activities and independent/creative play, to discover friendship and learn how to treat others with kindness, to develop a desire to learn and investigate their interests, to develop their confidence and know that they matter.
I also strongly believe that a happy child is one that is well rested, fed healthy nutritious meals, active through play, given plenty of opportunities to be outdoors and is limited in their access to technology.
Advantages to Dayhome-based Childcare...
I personally know how difficult it is to choose a childcare option. Finding a place, or person, you can trust is only part of the challenge. In addition to trust, you want your child to thrive in an environment that is well suited to their developmental needs. You have many factors to consider when deciding on the best type of childcare for your family. Your decision will ultimately come down to commercial daycares and dayhomes. The advantages to a dayhome can include:
A home setting versus an institutional setting can feel more comfortable and natural to a child.
Dayhomes feel more like a family, than a classroom. Your child will have plenty of years ahead of them where a classroom setting will be a part of their every-day. Their early childhood experiences at home are limited.
More individualized attention. Your child is not just another face in the crowd.
Fewer children, fewer germs. There are multiple children in daycares, increasing their chances of illness.
Siblings can remain together. Kids are often separated into different rooms at daycares.
Affordability. You may pay less at a dayhome than a daycare centre.
A more relaxed environment. While we follow a schedule, we also have more freedom to change-up our schedule when we feel inspired!
More free (self-directed play) to discover and follow their interests and develop their creativity. Daycare centers may have more teacher-directed activities as part of their curriculum.
Of course, there are also disadvantages with every choice we make. A private dayhome does not provide subsidy for low-income families, we do not have backups available during vacations (this would be difficult for families who do not have family to help out or an employer that is understanding in allowing work from home), it also requires a lot of trust in the provider (which doesn't come easily for some of us).
As for why I have chosen the private versus agency path, this comes down to personal reasons but is related to a couple things, including restrictions agencies have regarding your own children. You cannot have more than 6 children, including your own, and since my children are both in school full-time I don't see this as an issue since they are away for the majority of the day. They will of course be home during the summer. I also want autonomy in determining my fees in relation to how I value my service.
I know Leduc has many dayhome providers so I appreciate you taking the time to get to know and consider me for the job!
My name is Jessica Handjiev in case you want to Google me, I wouldn't judge you;)
Childcare is a new adventure for me! I started off in the marketing world after graduating from NAIT. I worked at an advertising agency for 7 years and one year with a qualitative research company. After I had my daughter, I returned to work for two years but ultimately made the decision to stay home and pursue portrait photography as a side gig to "stay-at-home-mom".
I have two children of my own (10 year old girl and 5 year old boy). I am married to my junior-high sweetheart, Jeff Drummond. We both grew up and went to school in Leduc.
Motherhood is complicated and full of lessons. My experience with my own children has been so valuable in my life and I am confident that 10 years of motherhood, has prepared me for this very important work!
I really enjoy cooking! I think it's important that we fill our kids with healthy food that will give them energy and a clear mind throughout the day. I've learned that it's important for us adults too!
I enjoy music and have a variety of music playing in the background most days. I'm also really intrigued by the whole "minimalism" movement and have been working hard to be very intentional about the "things" I bring into my home and how I choose to spend my free time (which for right now is pretty limited - mama you know what I mean!).
I am passionate about photography and run a small side-business taking portraits of babies, families and couples (www.joyfulemotion.com & www.joyfulemotionweddings.com). I would love to incorporate this passion into my dayhome and offer parents images of their children they wouldn't otherwise have - capturing our every-day activities along with some studio-style portraits throughout the year and a family portrait session in the Summer or Fall.
I believe that a positive attitude is key to anything we take on in life. I care deeply about being excellent (not perfect, ha!) at the things I take on in my life!
Thanks for taking the time consider me!
We are located in the Southfork community of Leduc in Sheppard Circle.
Close to Father Leduc Catholic School. We enjoy easy access to several playgrounds in our area, a toboggan hill and hopefully a hockey rink that is being planned soon for our community.
We will be spending the majority of our time on our main floor and upstairs bonus room (and of course, the back-yard). These spaces have plenty of light. We have a crib in our master bedroom. Kids who still need naps will use my kid's bedrooms. We will occasionally spend some time in our unfinished basement where kids can use our recreational gymnastics equipment. We have a bar, floor beam, jumpy floor mat and a small jumpy castle all in our basement. Kids will be under constant supervision and spotted on the bar and floor beam.
While I love routine and know how much kids need it, I also want to maintain a level of flexibility to allow us to change direction when we feel inspired or just feel the need for a more laid-back day. This schedule is a work in progress and will evolve as the seasons change and as we experience what works best for the kids! For example, in the summer we may take a more laid-back approach to the routine and spend much more time outside and limit the indoor activities we typically have as part of our daily routine.
Use of technology will be very limited and used mostly for educational purposes or a "fun Friday" movie experience. I will be honest, while we are concerned with technology with our own kids, we do not completely remove technology from their lives, we are not a "tech-free" family. I view it as my job to not expose YOUR kids to technology on a regular basis. I would expect the same of a provider being paid to care for my own kids. I know that most kids will get enough access to it at home and while they are with me it's my responsibility to encourage them to open their minds to other types of play.
We will be commuting in my van when we have less than six children in the program (visiting new parks, the library, spray parks, field trip locations, etc)
Typical daily routine
We will provide breakfast, lunch and two snacks. Cooking and preparing healthy meals has always been an important priority with my own kids! Understanding that there needs to be balance with picky eaters, here are the types of meals and snacks your child will receive at Joyful Dayhome...
Eggs & toast
Cottage cheese & toast
Smoothies & toast
Toast & fruit
Muffins & fruit
Cereal for picking eaters
Veggies & dip
Crackers, cheese & pickles
Muffins & milk
Banana bread & milk
Guacamole & chips
Granola bars for picky eaters
Chicken, veggie, noodle soup
Chili & rice
Ham & cheese sandwiches
Egg salad sandwiches
Meatball, veggie, noodle/rice soup
Rigatoni in meat-sauce
Noodles w/ butter for picky eaters
Childcare is expensive! I get it. I've been there too. It's an investment in your child and in your career path while your kids are little.
Your fees will pay for high quality food, supplies for fun activities and crafts, quality toys to keep your little one exploring, equipment for baby and play, cleaning supplies, wear and tear on house-hold items, entertainment expenses, special events and activities, printing paper and ink, and of course my income.
Self-employed childcare providers do not receive benefits like so many employees. Unlike other forms of employment, childcare does not provide opportunities for growth. My work week can add up to well over 40 hours a week. I am working a minimum of 55 hours and this does not include the time that goes into planning, preparing, shopping, book-keeping, paperwork, prepping food/activities/craft supplies for the week ahead and cleaning after the day is done. My hope is to work with families who respect and appreciate the value of childcare.
Fees are due on the 1st of the month. Payment can be made by cheque, cash or e-transfers. I will provide you with monthly invoices/receipts. Please keep in mind that we are a private dayhome, in case you qualify for subsidized childcare. There are no refunds/credits provided for stat, general holidays or any time your child is away on vacation.
Hours: 7:30 - 5:30pm (option to upgrade to earlier start)
Full-time (5 days/week)
*Siblings (two children from one family in my care) will receive a 10% discount on their combined monthly fees.
**Part-time only available to siblings in the program. We also do not offer part-time for infants (2 and younger). The inconsistency in their weekly routine can make it challenging for providers and for the infant.
**While we do not generally offer before/after school care, if a family with siblings needs this scenario for one child it would fall under the “3 days” fee structure. No transportation included to/from school, busing must be arranged. I recommend you look into school b/a programs or the Boys and Girls Club for more affordable Before and After School Care options.
Payment methods accepted include cash, email transfer or cheque. Receipts for tax purposes will be provided.
In order to reserve your child's spot, a non-refundable deposit of your first month's fees is required.
Additional coverage: $10/hour
Photo Club (see details below): $100/month ($50/month for second child)
Sibling Discount: 10%
Vacation credits: you will be reimbursed for any
holidays I take outside of my 10 paid vacation days. I reserve the right to take an additional 10 days of non-paid family vacation (on top of the 10 contracted/paid days off) and will provide ample notice.
Photography is a big passion of mine! The club includes three components. 1) you will receive photographs of your child monthly. These photos will be of the every-day things we do - simple moments and the important milestones. Files will be delivered to you online in full-resolution format. 2) you will also receive studio-style black and white portraits of your child (similar style to school portraits) twice throughout the year in digital form. 3) a family portrait session in the Summer or Fall. I typically charge $1,000 for my family sessions (https://joyfulemotion.wixsite.com/yegfamilyphotog/investment)
The Photo Club is a full-year commitment (month-to-month is not an option).
Details & Policies...
Hours of Operation
We are open 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. Extended coverage can be arranged at an additional rate.
We currently have a 5 year old boy and 3 year old girl in the program. Other positions pending on interviews.
Number of Children
There will never be more than 6 children in our dayhome. Ideally, I will accept only one child under two (maximum of 2, depending on the mix of kids). This number does not include my own children (James and Brooke are both in school full-time during the school year).
We are happy to assist kids with homework or online schooling support. I will also be teaching the kids pre-school level stuff like letters, letter sounds, numbers, colours, shapes, writing letters and their name and if they are ready for it sight words.
We will be closed on all Alberta Statutory holidays. I also take 10 paid vacation days throughout the year (including Christmas Eve, Easter Monday and the days in between Chrismas and New Year's Day and a couple days after New Year's day). I also reserve the right to take 10 additional days of UNPAID family vacation throughout the year and will give you a minimum three-month notice so you can plan accordingly. Any vacation days taken by your family, during operational days, will not be reimbursed.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT VACATION POLICY: Paid time off allows all of us to take care of our mental well-being, while still being able to meet our financial responsibilities. I view it as my responsibility to not only take good care of your child(ren) but also to take good care of myself so that I can be my best for them and avoid burnout that we know can lead to an unhealthy environment for all. It's very important to me that my clients support this and also have family that can help with backup care or an employer that is willing to allow work from home on my days off.
Due to current circumstances, any children with mild to moderate cold symptoms or a fever are asked to stay home. I will require that all families fill out a health checklist daily, which includes that you take your child's temperature prior to entering our home. We will make exceptions for children with allergies who cannot control their coughing.
We cannot offer socially distanced care. You must assume the risk that comes with your child being in close contact to people from outside of your home. The best we can do is encourage good hygiene, stay on top of new symptoms with the support of parents and routinely clean and disinfect surfaces that we use regularly. If anyone in our dayhome is found to have Covid, we are required to quarantine for two weeks. If you are highly concerned about Covid and have members in your family that are vulnerable, please discuss this with me in your interview.
All children must have up-to-date immunizations.
While we will do our best to accommodate children with allergies, we are not an allergen-free home. Our pantry and fridge does include nuts, eggs, fish, dairy and wheat products and as such meals may contain traces of these allergens.
I expect fees to be paid on time just as parents expect their salaries on time.
By September, we will have insurance and will provide copies of this to our clients in their contract.
First Aid & Police/Family Intervention Checks
I maintain current certification in Standard First Aid CPR/AED Level C through Canadian Red Cross. My husband and I will both posess Police/Family clearance checks by September. Copies of these documents will be provided to you with your contract.
Under no circumstance will I use any physical form of punishment or shaming treatment (including timeout spaces). I believe in promoting positive behaviour, taking time away from the situation or redirecting and speaking with the child one-on-one with eye contact and offering empathy, hugs and suggestions on how they can deal with the situation. I also might use incentives from time to time to get the kids excited about positive behaviour.
We do not offer transportation to/from schools. Busing must be arranged in front of our home. I will take the children on outings occasionally and will request permission from you in advance. This will only happen when we can safely fit all the children in my van, with proper car seats. You may be asked to provide a car seat for your child.
Naptimes will happen at the designated time as per the schedule. While I would like to accommodate different naptimes, it's difficult to stick to a routine and planned activities with kids napping at different times. When numbers are low in the dayhome, I'm happy to make accommodations when it works. We have one crib which will be made available to the youngest child in care.
I encourage my families to keep open and respectful communication always! Please talk to me as soon as there are any concerns. I'm always open to feedback and providing clarificaiton on anything.
Our home is mostly scent-free. We choose not to spray or diffuse scent and wash our clothes in non-scented laundry detergent. We make efforts to reduce chemicals where we can. I also choose to clean our home with vinegar, baking soda and soap.
We are non-smokers.
We currently have no major pets. Just two budgie birds.
What to bring...
Please provide the following items on your child's first day (all items must be labelled):
copies of your child's immunization record and health care card
during COVID we will require that you fill out a daily health screening checklist
bag of diapers (no cloth diapers, please) or pullups
2 packages of wipes
slippers with grips on bottoms
extra change of clothes in case of accidents
bottles, liners, milk, bib, soothers and baby food for little ones
if your child naps, their own sheet, blanket and pillow
spill-proof water bottle
any medications required in original container with your childs name and clear usage instructions
spring: rubber boots and full coverage rain suit
winter: snowpants, boots, gloves, touques, etc
in the summer: sunhat, bathing sjuit, sunscreen (1 spray & 1 face stick) and bug spray
a family picture