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MFRC Daycare

Strike

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Just wondering if anyone is having the same issues at other bases.  The daycare on our base is not accepting new babies/children even though they have more than 20 spots available.  The staff are being very vague about why they have not given those spots out although I have been assured that it's not for lack of staff.  Even if the spots were filled the staff to child ration would still be better than what's mandated.  They told me they want to open the spots up but have been directed from higher not to.

Finding it frustrating given that I put my little one on the list over a year ago and the current care situation is not ideal.
 

Zoomie

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Check with them and find out what the ratio of civi:military children are being cared for.  Civi kids get trumped by mil-babies.
 

Navy_Pete

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When I was in Halifax there was a two year waiting list to get into the MFRC year old daycare.  :dunno:

They also didn't roll the list over so you had to reapply for the older kids spots which were seperate.

Knew someone that got a call when their kid was 3 for the year old spot (four years of waiting).... Needless to say that I don't really have a lot of faith in the MFRC daycare setup.  To be fair, that MFRC was generally unhelpful outside of 9 am -3 pm.
 

Strike

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Zoomie said:
Check with them and find out what the ratio of civi:military children are being cared for.  Civi kids get trumped by mil-babies.

I'll check, but given the length of the waiting list, I would be surprised if there are any kids belonging to non-military families there.
 

dapaterson

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I have heard rumours of one MFRC that couldn't understand why their funding was being cut for a program that had zero military families involved.
 

Sub_Guy

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MFRC daycare (from my experience) isn't as good as it should be.  I did notice that if you we're enrolling your kid into French Immersion child care programs you seemed to have more options.  The other thing is that there were quite a few non-mil kids, I feel the non-mil should be accepted if space permits, but once a mil member wants to enrol their kid then the civ kid should be removed to free up space.  Meaning there shouldn't be civ kids at the child care facility if there are mil kids on the list.
 

Sparkplugs

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I had an enormous fight earlier this year with the MFRC here. Their priority list goes as follows: Full-time military kids, full-time civvie kids, part-time military kids, part-time civvie kids, casual military kids, casual civvie kids. I don't know, man, but for me, you are a MILITARY family resource centre -- My husband works straight days, while I'm on shiftwork, so we only need child care every second week. But because there are civvie kids there who are full-time, I don't get a spot. I've tried twice for the 'emergency' spots as well, when my regular child care is sick, and got turned down both times. I was told when my husband was on his PLQ, if I needed night-time child care, that there was a woman who wuold come to your house, but not if you had dogs, and you'd have to pay $14 per hour she was there, even if your kid was asleep for the entire time. Insanity. When I spoke to the MFRC child care director, I was told, "Well, even though there's hundreds of shiftworkers in Trenton, there's really nothing we can do for you. Sorry." But they'll happily take all sorts of civvie kids over military families, which is bunk, especially from a program that's supposed to be running as non-profit. And don't even get me started on the insane prices they charge, especially for little ones under 18 months. Bah. PM me if you need the rest of the dirt.  :crybaby:
 

Cansky

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And that Sparkplug is why I have never used MFRC.  They are the worst child cares providers I have ever seen and don't at all work with soldiers to find solution to aid with child care.  Had a issue in Gagetown need emergency child care for us and 3 other couples due to day home had an unexpected death in their family.  Got told by MFRC that couldn't help us as this wasn't reason enough for such services.  So we all took leave and rotated the kids thru the homes.

My recommendation for any service couple(I was a service couple for many years until spouse retired).  Go with private day home, much more flexibility there if negotiated within the contract.  Being medical and married to combat arms I always interviewed with the understanding of if called out or need after 4 pm care that they would provide.  Never had a problem getting daycare this way.  Even better if called out the kids went to the same person who had them during the day.

 

Strike

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We thought about day homes but I don't think I would be comfortable unless I knew the person.  Plus, many of the homes around the base aren't certified (AND didn't have F/A or CPR) and the ones that are were full.  As for overnight care, we have friends and family that can help out in a pinch.  It's just not ideal.
 

Cansky

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Understand  totally, at the end of the day you have to do what your comfortable with.  Ours kids are our dearest and most valuable  possessions
 

Sparkplugs

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I found a couple of awesome ladies who are stay at home moms who sit for me. One of them is having a baby, which is why I end up dealing with the MFRC, so she can have a few weeks off with the new nugget.

Depending on the base, there are lots of resources -- ie, Trenton has a Facebook page where lots of people, both providing and seeking childcare post. They have something called Wee Watch here, which is a program that certifies home daycares -- makes sure they have CPR, First Aid, proper menus, etc... You have to meet the standard, and then you get put on a list, that parents can use to find someone qualified to sit.

When I was looking for a sitter, I put an ad up on kijiji, looking for someone on the base. I got about 30 responses, and I interviewed 24 people in their homes. You will know RIGHT AWAY if a place is good for your kid or not. There were some places I walked in, and walked right back out. You just get a feeling. Strike, if you want to PM me with where you're located, I can talk to some friends with kids to find out what some of the decent options are on your base. Let me know, and I'll do what I can. :)
 

Scoobie Newbie

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Strike said:
Just wondering if anyone is having the same issues at other bases.  The daycare on our base is not accepting new babies/children even though they have more than 20 spots available.  The staff are being very vague about why they have not given those spots out although I have been assured that it's not for lack of staff.  Even if the spots were filled the staff to child ration would still be better than what's mandated.  They told me they want to open the spots up but have been directed from higher not to.

Finding it frustrating given that I put my little one on the list over a year ago and the current care situation is not ideal.

The Base CO has jurisdiction over them. Get a memo to him asking what the deal is.
 

Strike

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My boss called them up to try to get the scoop and it took him 6 people until they finally came up with something to tell him.  Even then, the numbers they were throwing at him didn't jibe with what they were telling me so it was a bit fishy.

Anyway, if we're lucky, maybe by spring we'll have a spot.
 

Strike

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So, called today and got some more info.  Based on the email that my supervisor got, the reason they are not filling spots is staffing (they are unionized if that means anything), to ensure there is room in the next level above (the tots level, which is 15 months to 2 yrs) and to ensure quality service.  ???  When I called today I found out that the nursery (up to 15 months old) can take up to 8 children but only has 2, and the tots level also only has 2 children but can also hold 8 and they currently have the staff on board to handle those numbers.

Does this sound wonky to anyone else?
 

Scoobie Newbie

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They are not unionized here.  There is a minimum staff to kid ratio and the younger they are the more staff.  If they don't have the staff they really don't have the openings.
 

Zoomie

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Every base is different it seems.  Winnipeg has a bona-fide day-care, but it isn't run by the MFRC.  DND provides the building, staffing is done through other means.  Same goes for Comox - MFRC has a type of itinerant drop in style daycare, while the on-base full-time system is civilian run in DND buildings.  The stipulation is that CAF members come first, but empty slots are allowed to be catered towards civilians.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Strike said:
So, called today and got some more info.  Based on the email that my supervisor got, the reason they are not filling spots is staffing (they are unionized if that means anything), to ensure there is room in the next level above (the tots level, which is 15 months to 2 yrs) and to ensure quality service.  ???  When I called today I found out that the nursery (up to 15 months old) can take up to 8 children but only has 2, and the tots level also only has 2 children but can also hold 8 and they currently have the staff on board to handle those numbers.

Does this sound wonky to anyone else?

Strike- daycares on bases are complicated things.  In most (all?) cases, they must follow the applicable provincial licensing guidelines, which do mandate things like staffing levels and ratios, even between different age levels.

In some cases, MFRCs accept provincial funding, which means that they must also accept civilian children.  In Manitoba (IIRC), the MFRC was not allowed by provincial legislation to have a military only list (whether they took provincial funding or not). It had to be "first come, first served", which meant frequently posted military folks lost out to the civilian population.  Which is why the WComd in Winnipeg got out of the daycare business (sort of).

What is unacceptable is that no one in your location was able to give you a clear explanation.  You should be able to make an appointment with your local daycare director or MFRC director and they should be happy to explain things to you- it is their job.  If they are not happy to do so- see your local Base Commander.  He/she should be more than happy to sort that piece out.
 

Strike

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And the saga continues.

Before the holidays we were 13 on the list for 16-18 month olds.  They are going to be taking kids in Feb so chances are good we would get a space given that some kids ahead of us might already have a spot elsewhere.  Called today and now we're 21!?  WTF?
 
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