Returning to Work Worksheet: Dilemmas and Decisions

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 02:33pm
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In about 75% of couples, both partners are employed full-time just before the birth of their first child. Roughly 65% of moms and 85% of dads with children under 3 years of age are in the labour force. It's clear that most couples re-enter the workplace after their baby is born.

Typically, women who work for pay will take some time off, if not before, then certainly after the birth of their babies. In many cases, moms receive some level of maternity/parental leave benefits through their employment. Plus these days, more and more dads are now using parental leave, too.

With up to a full year of formal maternity/paternity leave being available to many parents, there are a number of variations to the decisions that you can make, including the following:

  • Do you ever intend to work for pay after your baby is born?
  • Will you both share the parental leave?
  • How much time will each of you take?
  • Will the one of you on leave take the full leave?
  • Will you return to work on a part time basis?

Experts agree; if your baby has good, high-quality care—whether from Mom, Dad or a non-parental caregiver—any of these solutions can be good for your baby. You need to find the solution that best suits your unique situation and feel confident in your decision.

Read our articles on Not Returning to Work, Returning to Work Early and Returning to Work Later for more information.

Making your Decision

Need some help to make your decision on when to return to work? The Return to Paid Work Worksheet below contains some questions that may help you figure out what to do.

Download the Returning to Paid Work Worksheet (PDF)

Did you decide to return to work or stay home? What influenced your decision? Share your experience by leaving a comment below!

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Why do you need an RESP for your child(ren)?

by Maxine
Posted August 1 2010 12:30am
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As many parents already know, the cost of post-secondary education continues to grow, making it more difficult for you to shoulder the cost of tuition alone and nearly impossible for a student working part-time to pay tuition without additional help.  While you might not be thinking about the costs right now, when your focus is on your new baby or young toddler, the earlier you start saving the more your savings will grow! And with incentives and tax shelters from the government, there are many opportunities to maximize your savings. With estimates putting the cost of post-secondary education well over $100,000 in the not-too-distant future, do you really want to turn down an opportunity to further your child’s education? 

The Government of Canada provides incentive programs, called the Canadian Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond, through Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs). These incentives can add a substantial amount of additional funding to your RESP savings. Your child is only eligible for these grants if you open an RESP.


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TV in the Bedroom: Friend or Foe?

by Guest
Posted March 13 2012 05:20pm

Kids are immersed in media these days. And while the use of computers, smartphones, and other mobile technologies continues to grow, television still dominates children’s media lives. You could call it the staple dish in their media diet. Recent research has linked the presence of a TV in the bedroom with heavier media use and more severe fear responses. How should parents interpret these findings? Is it time to pull the plug on TV in the bedroom?

Some findings about fear

Research published in this month’s Journal of Children and Media, focusing on children’s experiences of “media-induced fright”, found that 76% of the children in the study reported instances of fright, with many of those coming in response to G or PG rated movies [1]. In this study, having a TV in the bedroom was the best predictor of the severity of the child’s fright.

The researchers note that the most common theme associated with fear involved the supernatural. And given that very young children have difficulty differentiating between fantasy and reality, it is possible that some fantastical (and scary) scenes in movies may be contributing to the child’s fear. What else does having a TV in the bedroom mean for kids?

Screentime or bedtime?

In the recently released Kaiser Family Foundation study on media use, they found that those who have a television in the bedroom were among the heaviest media users. The report also found significantly less media exposure in households that had some kind of rules governing the use of media. So what do these finding mean for parents? Is a child watching television in his or her bedroom more prone to media-induced fear than if they watched in their living rooms, or at a friend’s house? Should parents get the TV out of the bedroom, and create rules for TV use?

The co-viewing factor

Having rules and guidelines about appropriate media use is important, particularly for younger kids. Co-viewing is another method parents can use when managing their children’s screentime. When parents are watching television with their kids they can comfort their children if they become distressed, skip through any scary parts, or even turn it off and break out the crayons.

Share your thoughts

Does your preschooler have a TV in the bedroom? Have your kids been affected by something scary on TV or in a movie? How will these recent research findings affect how you manage your child’s media diet? Post a comment below to share your experiences with other parents.

[1] Cantor, J., S. Byrne, E. Moyer-Gusé, K. Riddle. Descriptions of Media-Induced Fright Reactions in a Sample of US Elementary School Children. Journal of Children and Media 4(1) p.1-17.


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What do I need to open an RESP for my child(ren)?

by Maxine
Posted August 1 2010 12:33am
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Opening an RESP for your child(ren) is simple. You and your child will need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) and you will need to choose an RESP provider. 

Getting a Social Insurance Number for your baby:

To receive a SIN number for your child you must visit a Service Canada (http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sin/apply/proof.shtml) office and provide an official document that proves your child’s identity and status in Canada. For a Canadian citizen, you must provide a Birth Certificate or your Certificate of Canadian citizenship documents. 

If you are a Registered First Nations person and would like to register your status on your SIN record you must also submit a Certificate of Indian Status issued by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) with your Birth Certificate.

Please see Service Canada’s detailed website on this topic: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sin/apply/proof.shtml

If you have all the correct documentation you can receive a SIN when you visit the Service Canada office and your card will be mailed to you at a later date.

You can also apply by mail if you do not live near a Service Canada office or cannot schedule a visit. This will mean sending original copies of your supporting documents and an application in the mail. You can find the address and download the application here: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sin/apply/how.shtml 

In Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia parents can apply for newborn registration when their child is born. This means that you can register for your child’s SIN at the same time that you apply for their registration of birth. This convenient option will save parents from filling out multiple applications, and avoids additional visits to Service Canada. You can find more details about this program here: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sin/apply/newborn.shtml

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