offering full-time, PART-TIME & casual child care as a private dayhome.
Currently accepting children ages 12 months and older. in the Southfork community of Leduc.
*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 child 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 equally and belong to our dayhome family - they are not just another face in the crowd here.
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 not 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).
I also want to explain why I have chosen the private versus agency path. I'm always open to considering it in the future but for now my decision comes down to 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 (grade 1 and 6) I don't consider this an issue. I also have moved past the small stage with my own kids which really makes a huge difference in terms of my energy levels and patience throughout the day. I am not staying up through the night with a small baby or young toddler of my own. My children will of course be home during the summer but my kids are quite self sufficient and even helpful. I also want autonomy in determining my fees in relation to how I value my service.
Parents should choose providers that they have interviewed, been through their home, understand their approach to childcare, know all there is to know about the service agreement (contract, schedule, food menu, activities, etc) and most importantly connect with you on a personal level. Your family will be seeing this provider most days, if you have very different views, the relationship will be strained and difficult for both sides. Do your homework and be open to both the private and agency path and hopefully you will find someone that you "just know" is the right fit. Trust your instincts!
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. Childcare is a new adventure for me! While opening a dayhome is new to me, caring for children has been a big part of my life for the last 11 years. 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" until they were both in school full-time.
I have two children of my own (11 year old girl and 6 year old boy). I am married to my junior-high sweetheart, Jeff Drummond. We both grew up and went to school in Leduc. Jeff and the kids are excited and supportive of my desire to open a dayhome.
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 11 years of motherhood, has prepared me for this very important work.
I enjoy cooking, music, listening to audio books and podcats. 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 (more about this later).
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.
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 in the basement.
We also have Wyze cameras in all the rooms of our home we plan to spend time in to use as monitors (especially when kids are napping or I need to take a child to the bathroom while still keeping an eye on the other kids). These monitors do also have the ability to record on a memory card. Footage will not be shared with parents unless there is an incident that I feel is important for parents to see.
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 of 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 potentially be commuting in my van on a limited basis when we have less than six children in the program and when all car seats/booster seats can fit safely. When we are at capactiy (6 kids), there will be no transportation. We do not plan to transport any dayhome kids to school.
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. We do not offer evening or weekend care.
Full-time (5 days/week)
*We do not currently accept babies under 12 months of age.
*Part-time only available to siblings in the program who attend school and for kids who eventually move to Kindergarten. Exceptions may be made from time to time depending on the market. We also do not offer part-time for infants (under 2 years of age). The inconsistency in their weekly routine can make it challenging for providers and for the infant.
*Children at "3 days/week" are required to keep the same schedule. Days may not be swapped as our goal will be to fill the opposite 2 days with another client.
*2 days per week is subject to availability and only offered to opposite days to the "3 day program". Please ask me if these positions are currently available. The cost of the 2-day program is $400/month ($50/day).
*Short Days" (Monday to Friday) are available at a rate of $600/week or $30/day. These positions are subject to availability and will run opposite to our OSC children who attend school full-time. The hours for these spots are 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (6 hours of care vs. 10 hours) and DO NOT INCLUDE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AND PD DAYS (you will be provided with a list of these dates and reimbursed for these days). "Short Day" care includes one snack and lunch. The purpose of this spot is to attempt to still offer OSC care to kids who need it while maximizing my earnings and at the same time giving clients a discounted option that may work well for clients who have flexibility in their work day.
*OSC Care: 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 ($550/month or $28/day for a full-time OSC position). OSC care is only offered to families with 2 children in the program. OSC care INCLUDES PD DAYS AND SCHOOL HOLIDAYS at an additional rate of $20/day. Because we can only have a maximum of 6 children at one time, we will be attempting to maximize spots when OSC kids are not at the dayhome (between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm we hope to have another family filling this spot). No transportation included to/from school, busing must be arranged in front of our home.
Fee Revision Policy
When you sign your contract, your fees (and all other policies related to your fees) will be guaranteed for 2 years. After 2 years, you will be switched to the new rates, if they have changed.
Payment methods accepted include cash, email transfer (preferred) or cheque. Receipts for tax purposes will be provided.
Registration & Deposit
In order to reserve your child's spot, a 50% non-refundable deposit of your current monthly fees is required. This deposit will be credited towards your final month of care.
I can only offer holds on full-time spots in one of two situations:
1. A child currently in the program is leaving by a certain date (e.g. they no longer require care or are switching to OSC) and can guarantee that spot to you with your 50% deposit on a first-come-first-serve basis.
2. If a spot is currently available but you do not require care for more than 2 months out, you will need to not only pay a deposit but also pay for the spot monthly in the amount of the lowest part-time fees at the time (i.e. currently the lowest part-time rate is $550 so this is the price you would pay for holding your spot each month leading up to your start date).
There are absolutely no refunds for fees paid towards holding a spot. If you decide you no longer need the spot or your child is not transitioning well into our dayhome, we cannot offer you a refund for fees paid to date.
Photo Club (see details below): $100/month ($50/month for second child).
Sibling Discount: none. We do not offer a sibling discount on monthly childcare fees as it costs us the same amount in expenses (e.g food) and requires equal amounts of energy to care for both children. We do offer discounts for the photo club (for the second child) as there is time savings in that scenario for me. We have also chosen to vary our fees based on a child's age so that older children cost less and younger children more to account for the amount of attention they require from the provider.
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 a minimum of 4 weeks notice (usually more).
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. Breakfast is provided between 7:30 and 8:30 am. If you plan to drop off after the breakfast time-frame, please ensure to feed your child breakfast prior to drop off. We do not offer evening or weekend care.
Our goal is to always have 6 kids in our dayhome at one time. As the current status of kids changes on a regular basis, please ask me how many kids we currently have registered in the program.
Number of Children
There will never be more than 6 children in our dayhome at one time. There may be more than 6 children in the program overall when you account for part-time care and OSC, but never more than 6 in the home at once. Ideally, I will accept one child under two (maximum of 2, depending on the mix of kids and how close they are to turning two). This number does not include my own children (James and Brooke are both in school full-time during the school year).
We will be closed on all Alberta Statutory holidays (no refunds for STAT 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 of 4 weeks notice (likely more) so you can plan accordingly. Any vacation days taken by your family, during operational days, will not be reimbursed.
My contract includes 5 paid personal/sick days that I may use if I am sick, my children are sick or I have doctor appointments that cannot be schedule outside of working hours or via a conference call.
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. We will also take temperatures at the door. Guidlines will be similar to that of schools (according to Alberta Health recommendations) with the exception of mask wearing and distancing. While I support the public mask wearing policy, I will not require kids to wear masks in our home and will not require them to distance from each other. Symptom exceptions will be made for children with allergies so long as they follow school guidelines which includes getting a baseline test for current symptoms and re-testing if those sympotms change.
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. We also appreciate being notified if anyone has been in contact with someone who has symptoms and is being investiaged for Covid. While this is not required by AB Health, it is appreciated as a courtesty to me and the rest of the families.
If our dayhome is forced to shut down due to a positve test, you will be reimbursed for the days that the dayhome is not operating. Fees will not be reimbursed so long as the dayhome is operating.
My general view around Covid 19 is that "life must go on". While I am not terrified, I am cautious and careful. I support mask-wearing policies in public places. I am very concerned about elders and high-risk individuals. I don't over analyze data or worry about the things we currently do not know. I do not focus on conspiracies. I focus on the data I have now, the recommendations that the experts are telling us and do my best to follow them while trying to maintain some level of normalacy in life and doing my best to balance the risks today versus the risks to our mental health tomorrow. We do spend time with our family and occasionally close friends and my kids will attend school and their sport activities amidst all of this, until we feel like it's no longer safe.
All children must provide records/confirmation of their child's immunization status.
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. Children will not be permitted to attend the program until fees are paid in full for the month ahead. No exceptions.
We are covered by liability in the amount of $2 million. Copies of our home insurance coverage (which includes dayhome liability) will be included in your 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 both posess current Police/Family clearance checks. Copies of these documents will be provided to you with your contract. These will be updated every years.
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 (when possible) 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.
Naps & Quiet Time
Our schedule will accommodate for either 2 naps or 1 nap in the afternoon. This will be modified to accommodate the children's needs. Please refer to the schedule for specifics. 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. Children who no longer nap will take part in quiet time. This includes laying on their own personal mat and looking through books on their own or listening to a story from an audio book. 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. Please know that I have your child's best interests at mind and want them to thrive under my care as much as you do. There may be small sacrifices to be made when my attention needs to be spread among 6 kids. This means that I will not be able to rock your child to sleep for 30 minutes while other kids rely on me, or offer a different meal to every child to accommodate their taste preferences. I will do what is best for the entire group, while doing my best to meet the needs of every child to the best of my ability. Our ratio is 1 to 6, not 1 to 1 or 1 to 2. Please keep this in mind when communicating your concerns to me.
Our home is 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 to reduce the use of harsh chemical that can have adverse heath effects on some children.
We are non-smokers.
We currently have no major pets. Just two budgie birds.
What to bring...
We plan to be outside every day, subject to weather conditions. Please ensure to dress your child warm on cooler days so that they can enjoy the outdoors comfortably. 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-19 we will require that you fill out a daily health screening checklist
bag of diapers (no cloth diapers, please) or pull-ups
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 blanket (we provide their own sheet and pillow)
spill-proof water bottle
any medications required in original container with your child's name and clear usage instructions
spring: rubber boots and full coverage rain suit
winter: snow pants, boots, gloves, toques, etc
in the summer: sunhat, bathing suit, sunscreen (1 spray & 1 face stick) and bug spray
a family picture