For the last couple of months, I lived in St John's, Newfoundland and had to find yet another daycare for my twins. Finding childcare in St John's is hard and I will be remiss not to share a bit of what I learned from the experience.
(Can you tell it's childcare week in mytwintopia?)
Childcare in Canada has some common threads so I won't rehash those. I suggest reading my post on Calgary childcare. For this post, I'm going to talk more about the specifics of childcare and St John's.
Overview of childcare in St Johns - It's a needled haystack proposition! There is a shortage of available childcare spaces currently and the situation is only going to get worse. With all the new energy projects coming up in the region, St John's will witness an influx of petroleum professionals working outside the home who will need childcare. Start your search early
Licensing - The list of licensed programs is available from the provincial government website. You'll want to click on the link for "Eastern Urban" to get information pertaining to the St John's metro area. This will include Paradise, Conception Bay and Torbay
Subsidies - The guideline for childcare subsidies is a 35 page document. I did not read it. The better idea is to call the person in charge of the subsidy program. Phone numbers are listed on the government website.
Infant care - In Newfoundland, infants are categorised as children under 24 months. (This classification varies by province. In Alberta, it's 19 months). Infant care is even harder to find in St John's. As at December 2011, out of the 114 licensed childcare centers in St John's, only 11 provide care to infants. Most will have the capacity for 6 - 16 infants at any given point in time. Competition for spaces is hard, waitlists are long and facetime is critical. Kidcorp is a chain that has the most number of spots for infants. Make a phone call and pay them a visit. A list of licensed centers and their contacts can be found here
Dayhomes - I had a terrible experience with dayhome providers that I looked for online. Unanswered emails, broken appointments and poor communications marred the process for me. I will advise anyone looking for a dayhome to go through an agency. Family and Childcare Connections is the agency of choice for St John's.
If you stayed long enough to read this post to the end, you must be really looking for childcare in St John's. All I can say to you is good luck. You'll need it.