The Calgary Childcare Conundrum

Finding childcare in Calgary is next to impossible…well, finding GOOD childcare is.  I mentioned earlier that we are losing our current dayhome because the provider is pregnant and is not wanting to start up again after her new baby comes.  I can’t fault her there, life with a newborn is so unpredictable.

So this leaves us scrambling to find something new for our little H.

We looked at a couple of daycare centers but as she’s never been to one, we are a somewhat leery.  Our little H tends to get overwhelmed and on edge when things are hectic and the centers we’ve been to have been nothing but hectic.   Kids on ‘free play’ time with little structure and program to the day besides meal time and outdoor play time kinda freaks me out.  Plus, they are horrendously expensive at $960 per month for full time.  We might not need complete full time but we’re close…it’s likely we would have to shell out for that full time spot.  Not to mention the ‘menu’ left a lot to be desired for a healthy and well balanced diet.

Rather than put her in a center, we are looking for a similar situation to what we have now.  We’re hoping to place her in a family home with no more than 5 other kids in the care of the adult.  We love that it’s similar to the day she has at our house.  That she can get lots of one on one attention and that things are still quiet enough for her to remove herself and sit alone if she needs to.

So here’s an issue we ran into recently – We found what we thought would be an ideal situation.  A family home that was close to ours and with one little girl that was the same age as our Little H.  The kids became instant best buddies.  We loved the mom who was open and warm and sweet.  Then we hit a wall.

We asked to see the couple’s photo ID.  Their driver’s licenses specifically so we could confirm they are who they say they are.  If something ever happened to our little H and the police asked us ‘who did this?’ I want to be able to say with certainty that I know their correct names.   When you place your child in a center or day home those people have all had background checks and can provide parents with proof of identity.  When you go into a private residence situation, there is none of that and it’s up to us as her parents to make sure we are confident that we know who we are dealing with, right?

Well, the dad was very offended.  He gave us his ID but we could tell he wasn’t happy.  It left a bad taste.

Not 15 minutes after we arrive home our phone rings and it’s them.  He wants to come over to our house and verify that we live where we say we live.  He wants to make sure we’re not stealing his identity.  His behavior was not that of a parent who understands the perils of leaving his child in a strangers care but of a man who wants to be in control of the situation and who wants to make it known that he is un-trusting and upset with us.  US, the people who are contemplating paying him a good chunk of money per month to make sure our kid is well looked after in his home.

We were perfectly within our rights to ask for their ID.

They were perfectly within their rights to refuse…but they didn’t.

The situation we thought was looked after is now up in the air.  Do we work around him?  He won’t be involved in the care of Little H.  Or do we forget the whole arrangement?

The only reason we’re still thinking of this home is that we literally have no other option at present.  I don’t want to feel trapped into this.  What would you do?



  1. Most day homes even private should have that id and I would expect them to be prepared to show them that in my day home. I have a file with all of my qualifications and I show my passport and licence to all parents.

    I would not want my child in the care of someone like this and would probably pull my child quickly and lose the money for the month.

    Even though he is not involved in the day to day care of the child he is involved. If he isn’t he appears to be making himself involved. That type of control, aggressive nature and distorted thinking wouldn’t be around my child, even in the same home in a different room.

  2. hello, i am from Calgary too and i have 9 months old girl and very soon i will be coming back to work. My heart is breaking when i think about it. I am planning to put my girl in dayhome and when i read your post i have got goose bumps! This person reacted irrationally and with sort of anger. No one like this would be around my daughter! Brrr! If somebody would ask me that question i would give them anything they want because this is a child we are talking about. What is more important than this? They are idiots! My opinion: do not consider them. Good luck!

    • Best of luck in going back to work – it’s so hard!! We just had our second child so I’m back on mat leave and my daughter is now in my care full time…I’m so so relieved!

  3. Hello there my name is Cristy I am a stay at home mother of two I have a 6 year old son named kaydon and a two year old his name is kallan. I have been a stay at home mom now for 5 years and in that five years have watched a number of kids, only one time has someone asked me for id but i was more than happy to comply. I figure if u have nothing to hide than why not? Also i am looking to start an official dayhome as for i have just been doing it on the side off and on, but now am looking to make it full time. Trusting someone to watch your child is one of the hardest discisions you will ever have to make make sure u ask lots of questions and dont be affraid to ask for id, dont ever settle for less than the best for your child.

  4. I just got done reading your post. Wow!! It is not a good idea to send your daughter back to that home. I would look for a state registered license provider. If they are registered in your state they should have had a back ground check. I run a child care home and when parents tell me someone else will be picking up there child I always ask for an ID. I hope they never get offended. I don’t think you were wrong in asking to see an ID. If the parents in my daycare ask to see my ID I would gladly let them see it.

  5. Hm…maybe it was their concern about what you were going to DO with their license? just seeing it is one thing, writing down numbers ot do (illegal) background checks is another thing altogether…sounds like a misunderstanding to me!

    • I’m sure it was a misunderstanding….however, if they were uncomfortable they just had to say so in a civilized manner. They did not HAVE to give us their info. Frig, people hand over their drivers licenses to get in to bars, to rent cars, for all sorts of menial reasons. Showing it to someone who is about to leave their child in your care shouldn’t have been as huge an issue as it was. Because trust me, it was pretty bizarre.


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