hi Looking at possible move to toronto for work but as a single parent Im wondering about availability of before and after school care or maybe even an au pair as I will be leaving all my network behind (scary!)
Any advice on availability / costs much appreciated
Hi Lokijet Bumping in the hope that you get responses from others with more up-to-date info. I currently live/work in Toronto with DH but no other help, but my DD is already 11 (when did that happen?) so I may be out of date.
How old is your child/children? If you have less than 3 kids and they aren't tiny, day care is more cost effective than anything else. Some large employers or office buildings downtown have day cares attached and that really helps. (Mine did...) If you live in either the east end e.g. The Beaches or west end e.g. High Park, I know that there are lots of day cares in the community. This is a typical one in our area and e-mailing them will give you some idea of cost. The actual cost per child always varies by age as the legal staffing ratios vary.
Au pairs are rare in Toronto I think - I can only think of one family who has one and their's is a special case. Filipino nannies (living in or out) are much more common. We never had one, but I think that they work out about the cost of 2.5 kids at day care. I suggest you google Kijiji Toronto and look under child care for an idea of costs... Sometimes mothers who choose to stay at home will child mind a couple of extras - I think that the going rate in our area is at least $500 a week but maybe less on other areas of the city.
Availability of before and after-school clubs at school varies - there is one at most of our local public schools but you have to put your name on the waiting list literally at birth. Day cares will often pick up kids from school and feed/homework/supervised play them until caregivers pick them up.
Have a google of the YMCA, they run a lot of the after school programs. I can't offhand remember what we were paying for it. But we'd drop to the centre in the am and they'd walk them up to school and back in the afternoon, hours I think were 8 to 6. They had some programs like karate that they offered or swimming as part of the after school program.