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Child Care : FAQ

What ages of children do you accept?
Pumpkin Patch accepts children from the age of 3 months to 12 years. We are licensed for a total of 130 children at any given time. The ratios of teacher to child vary depending on the age of the child.

  • Infants (3-18 months) are 3:10;
  • Toddlers (18-30 months) are 1:5;
  • Preschoolers (2 ½ - 3.8 years) are 1:8,
  • Kindergarten (3.8-6 years) are 1:10
  • School age (6 - 12 years) are 1:15.

The Centre is approved for 2/3 ratios for the first two hours and the last two hours of each day (infants excepted).

Do you have a waiting list?
The centre generally runs full year round, working from a waiting list. There are peak times when openings are more frequent (September, January, beginning of summer). Otherwise, it is typically a ‘one-out, one-in’ situation. See “REGISTRATION” for waiting list forms.

How do I enrol?
The centre has family visits on Thursday mornings at 9:30 am. Parents can bring their child, tour the centre and then fill out a waiting list form before they leave. If families are unable to come to the tour, parents may stop by the main office during business hours to fill out a waiting list form, or fill out a waiting list form here on our website.  See "REGISTRATION" for waiting list forms.

Once a family comes up on the waiting list they will be notified so that visits can be set up for the child and the parents/caregivers. It is extremely important that the centre be informed of the individual needs of each child prior to enrolment. This will ensure the appropriate placement for the child.

Once a space becomes available and has been offered to a family, there are a number of steps that need to take place. The family is asked to pay a retainer equal to one week’s fee to hold their space, unless they have been approved for child care subsidy. The enrolment forms must be completed and returned before the child starts in the program. The forms are designed to include all of the information required by the Ministry of Education and the Public Health Department. It provides the teachers with a good introduction to your child.

How do I get help paying for day care?
The centre has a contract with the City of Hamilton to provide subsidized day care. Families who fall within certain income guidelines will be required to confirm their financial eligibility with a subsidy worker, and then they will be assigned a user fee to be paid to the centre, if applicable.
For more information, contact the Child Care Subsidy Office for the City of Hamilton at (905) 546-2424 x 4870. City of Hamilton website – http://www.hamilton.ca/HealthandSocialServices/

Can I visit before my child’s start date?
Once a space is confirmed, all families are strongly encouraged to come with their child for a series of visits prior to the actual start date. This allows the child to get comfortable with the Centre and the staff while mom or dad is here with them. This can be done by calling the centre to let us know when you would like to come in.

Is Food Provided?
The daycare provides a hot lunch and two snacks daily for children over 12 months of age. Parents must provide all food for children younger than 12 months, as required by the Ministry.

Lunches and snacks are based on the Canada Food Guide, and are professionally catered by Food for Tots http://fft.ca/.

When are you open?
The day care is open from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday to Friday. Children can attend up to nine hours daily.

The day care is open year round, with no shut down period. We are, however, closed on the following days:

  • NEW YEAR’S DAY
  • FAMILY DAY
  • GOOD FRIDAY
  • EASTER MONDAY
  • VICTORIA DAY
  • CANADA DAY
  • CIVIC HOLIDAY
  • LABOUR DAY
  • THANKSGIVING DAY
  • CHRISTMAS DAY
  • BOXING DAY

Do you have summer camp?
The centre runs a camp during the summer months for children ages 6-12. Families may sign up only for the weeks of care they require. Campers attend 2-3 trips per week, and swim at the community pool on other days.  

Will you take my child to school?
Pumpkin Patch provides a walking escort to and from GL Armstrong School for children in Junior Kindergarten and older.

What is your strategy for behaviour management?

Teachers will continually reinforce acceptable behaviours and encourage children by acknowledging their accomplishments.

If an undesirable behaviour occurs, the teacher will:

  • Verbally guide the child to the appropriate behaviour
  • Redirect the child to a different activity

At all times, the teacher will speak to the child at the child’s eye level in a calm manner.

Do I have to go back on the waiting list when my child is moving to another age group?
No. We will automatically move children from one age group to the next based on the following:

  • Availability of space in the older age group
  • Chronological age
  • Developmental readiness

Even though a child may be old enough to move to the next age grouping, fees must remain the same until there is a space for them and they move. The decision to move a child up to the next age group is made by the Executive Director and Program Supervisor in consultation with teachers and parents/caregivers. Once a child is scheduled to move to the next group the parent/caregiver will be notified of the move date and any fee changes. During the weeks prior to the move date, the child will visit his/her new group for a portion of the day to ensure a smooth transition.

My child has special needs – how will your centre meet our needs?
We ask that all families have at least one play visit before their child’s start date in order to determine the best placement for the child. We are a fully integrated child care centre, and we have a Resource Teacher from Early Childhood Integrated Support Services (ECISS) here at the centre who can help us to coordinate the best care for your child.

If it has been determined by clinicians that your child will require extra support while at day care, your child will likely have been put on a waiting list for a Support Facilitator from ECISS to assist the classroom while your child attends. As there is often a waiting list for support from ECISS, we will keep your child on our centre’s waiting list and remain in contact with ECISS to ensure support is available before your child starts care.Check out their website for more information at http://stmatthewshouse.ca/our-programs/children/eciss/

Mission Statement

In Partnership with Families,Mt. Hamilton Baptist Day Care, “Pumpkin Patch”, provides a professionally led, child centred program, in a Christian environment.
Pumpkin patch
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