"Modernizing Child Care" consultation completed; OCBCC writes to Minister for next steps

Oct 11, 2012

Recognizing the end of the “Modernizing Child Care” consultation, the OCBCC send the following letter to Minister Broten suggesting further steps towards positive substantive changes for the early learning and child care sector.

Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
Coalition ontarienne pour de meilleurs service éducatifs à l’enfance

October 11, 2012

Hon Laurel Broten
Minister of Education
Mowat Block, 22nd Floor
900 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M7A 1L2

Sent by email, and fax.

Dear Minister Broten,

Like hundreds of others across the province of Ontario, the OCBCC was proud to put forward our views on “Modernizing Child Care” during the recent consultation.  We understand that, for the Ministry of Education, there is a long road ahead of reviewing the feedback and proceeding with legislative and regulatory changes to the Day Nurseries Act.

We want to assure you that the OCBCC remains committed to the need for change within the Day Nurseries Act and we support the recent consultation as one of a series of initiatives to bring affordable, high-quality child care to more children and families in Ontario. We applaud your government for taking these initial steps and would like to meet with you to discuss how we can further assist in the development of this process.

Several government reports including, “Investing in Quality”, the 2007 report by an expert panel named by the McGuinty government, “With Our Best Future in Mind”, by Dr. Pascal in 2009, the McGuinty government’s early learning advisor, and this consultation on Modernizing Child Care, have highlighted significant changes to Ontario’s early learning and child care sector.

We remain hopeful that, as these reports declare, we will move towards a system of early learning and child care that is accessible, affordable and provides child care staff with a decent wage to reflect their education, experience, skills and dedication.

Given the desperate nature of many of the child care programs across our province, we look forward to legislative and regulatory changes that will support and improve these programs as early as this fall.

Our response to the Modernizing Child Care document highlighted four areas for action:

1.    Base-funding as a means to affordable child care for families and decent wages for staff.  Stable and sustainable child care funding is the most important factor contributing to accessible, affordable and quality child care.
2.    Licensing requirements for all home child care providers who provide child care for money;
3.    Licensing for public and not-for-profit operators only; and
4.    The role of the province in supporting relationships between the CMSM’s and DSSAB’s, school boards and child care programs both in the schools and community based to ensure that all children and families have access to the services they need.

We feel that these are vital first steps in building the kind of system of child care that families and children in Ontario deserve.

We would like to have a meeting with you and members of our executive to discuss how we can help bring our community together to support the coming changes.

The following dates would work for members of our executive: Friday, October 19, 31, November 1, 2, 5, 8, 21, 22, 23.

We believe that by working together we can achieve our shared vision for families and children in Ontario.  We are hopeful that the consultation will result in positive substantive changes for our sector and remain committed to working with fellow child care advocates and all the parties at Queen’s Park to ensure that needed changes receive the necessary support from within our community and at Queen’s Park.

Sincerely,

Sheila Olan-MacLean
President, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

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