EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
Ontario Council CFUW has long supported Early Learning and affordable, accessible, quality Child Care in Ontario.
Ontario Council has prepared two Toolkits, TOOL KIT #1 and TOOL KIT #2 and a Proposal for a System of Early Learning and Child Care in Ontario Clubs are asked to consider your participation in this advocacy and an action possible for your club.
If we are talking about improving the economy, then we need a strong reliable province-wide public system of early learning and child care. If we are talking about the care, well being, and growth of young children, then access to quality programmes with trained staff is essential.
With your efforts, this advocacy action could become an Ontario Council province-wide campaign. The voices of 5200 members can make a difference.
The Ontario Council Standing Committee on Education had a presentation about child care by Martha Friendly, Childcare Resource and Research Unit at the University of Toronto. Read more
Comments were sent to the Hon. Laurel Broten, Minister of Education concerning Modernizing Child Care in Ontario: Sharing Conversations, Strengthening
Letter has been sent concerning the Ontario Budget 2010 to the Hon. Laurel Broten, thanking her for the continuation of the childcare funding.
A letter was sent to the Premier and the Minister of Children and Youth Services, the Hon. Laurel Broten, concerning the funding of child care services.
The Ontario Coalition of Better Child Care [ www.childcareontario.org ] has an excellent website on the crisis in the funding of child care services
A plea for child care
As we have been celebrating International Women’s Day and the advances that women have made, we have also become more concerned about current child care situation.
Good quality child care is one of the cornerstones of our economy - allowing parents to work, or further their education, at the same time providing valuable early childhood learning which will support and develop young minds for years to come.
Yet at the time that we most need its growth, child care continues to be under threat with the possibility of 22,000 affordable child care spaces, with the jobs of 4000 child care workers, being lost in the province this year if the 2009 Ontario Budget does not cover the upcoming funding shortfall.
Quebec, with its $7.00/day child care, has lowered child poverty by 50% and found that 40% of the cost of the programme is now covered by the added revenue from new working parents.
We ask that the Ontario government invest in child care and save the threatened child care spaces.
We have three letters that can be sent – one by Presidents to their MPPs, and two versions of letters that can be sent by individual members.
Individual members – long
Individual members – short
On International Women's Day, Ontario Council sends a letter to the Minister of Finance asking for essential support to child care.
A letter is sent, by Judie Arrowood, Status of Women and Human Rights Chair, to the Hon. Mary Anne Chambers, Minister of Children and Youth Services concerning the $300 million promised in 2003 for early learning and child care.
A letter is sent, by Wendy Taylor, Education Chair, to the Hon. Mary Anne Chambers, Minister of Children and Youth Services commending the “Best Start” program and encouraging an increase in funding for this programme.
Standing Committees meeting:
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CHILDCARE - POLICY & ADVOCACY
The panellists included Gordon H. Cleveland, an economist and professor in the Division of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough spoke about the economic benefits and effects of child care.
Elizabeth Ablett, the new Executive Director of the Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare discussed the work of the Coalition, the current campaign of Code Blue, and the upcoming work for the elections, both provincial and federal.
From the Ontario Council Pre-Budget Brief:
It goes without saying that child care is essential to the economy of Ontario – for the intellectual development of the child as thoroughly explained in the 1999 report, The Early Years Study and for care of children while parents are working. Affordable childcare and early learning programs are particularly important for parents from the lower socio-economic scale.
The Ontario Council of Canadian Federation of University Women has been concerned about and has had extensive policy on the provision of child care since 1987.
We support the goals of quality, universality, accountability and development, and have over the past years asked previous federal and provincial governments “to commit itself, through social and economic policies, to facilitate the provision of an adequate supply of affordable, accessible child care facilities, which fulfil the purposes of providing a safe, healthy, physical, social, emotional and intellectual development.”(CFUW Resolution, 1987) as well as creating “well-defined standards and criteria” that also “ensure that salaries be consistent with professional training, experience and responsibility.” (CFUW Resolution, 1988)
We applaud the signing of the 2005 Canada-Ontario Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and the 2003 Multilateral Framework on Early Learning and Child Care and the approximately 12,500 new child care spaces these would create.
We are therefore very concerned that these agreements may not be honoured by the new federal government.
Compensation for child care workers is extremely low. According to the Child Care Human Resources Sector Council, a full-time child care worker earns an average of $17,800. for a person with no post-secondary education and $25,000 to $28,000 for those with college certificates and university degrees. This does not compare to kindergarten teachers. We applaud the proposed creation of College of Early Childhood Educators and hope that with the study of standards will come the amelioration of the salaries.
The working conditions can be difficult with long working hours and few breaks. These lead to a rapid turnover in staff. Better working conditions and better pay will bring and keep a better trained and a more stable workforce, an essential part of a quality child care system. This is especially important if kindergarten teachers and child care workers are to be part of a holistic centre.