For a pdf copy of this bulletin, please click here.
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
Special Information Bulletin for the Early Learning and Child Care Community on:
"With Our Best Future in Mind" the report by Dr. Charles Pascal, Early Learning Advisor
Background and Context for the Report
In the last provincial election, Dalton McGuinty promised $200 million in 2010 and $300 million in 2011 for a new program of full-day learning for 4 and 5 year olds. He appointed Charles Pascal to write a report on how the program could be implemented. "With Our Future in Mind" was released on June 15.
Over the summer, we will have a series of information bulletins on what is in the report to help the early learning and child care community better understand the report and the implications for our sector.
Information You NEED to Know - Some Key Recommendations to Get You Started
- Full Day Learning for 4 and 5 year olds (page 18)
That school boards provide a single early learning program where children can attend for a half day, regular day or an extended day (between 3:30 and 6:00 p.m.)
Parents who choose an extended day program would be charged an additional fee of $27 per day, with subsidies available to families who qualify.
The program is a year round, school board operated program with a blended staffing model including Early Childhood Educators, Kindergarten Teachers, Educational Assistants etc.
- After School, Full Year Care for 6 to 12 year olds (page 19)
At the request of 15 or more families, school boards would be obligated to provide after school and full year care to children from 6 to 12 years old. Parents who choose and extended day program would be charged an additional fee of $20 per day, with subsidies available to families who qualify.
Schools could organize their own activities or work with municipalities or community partners to provide this programming.
- Best Start Child and Family Centres (page 20)
These Centres would be developed an expanded by consolidating the resources, governance and mandates of existing child care, family resource and early intervention services.
Operated by either municipalities, school boards, postsecondary institutions or non-profit agencies, the Centres would bring together local services under a single management structure. Centres would include licensed child care, home child care, OEYC's, Parenting and Family Literacy Centres, Healthy Babies Healthy Children, Preschool Speech and Language, Child Care Special Needs Resourcing and family literacy coordinators.
The goal is to provide families with a one-stop opportunity to access services and streamlining the administration of various complementary programs.
- Extension of Parental Leave (page 23)
That the province should expand maternal and parental leave to 400 days, covering self-employed parents and allowing flexibility for parents to extend and supplement their benefits by returning to work part-time.
Information You NEED to Know: Over the summer, watch for information bulletins including:
What Does the Early Learning Advisor's Report say about Early Childhood Educators?
What Does the Early Learning Advisor's Report say about funding for infants to four year olds?
What Is a Best Start Child and Family Centre?
How Much Will the Full Implementation of the Report Cost? How Much Funding is Committed today?
Press Releases and Media Stories
The Atkinson Foundation has a terrific collection of press releases and news stories from the launch. Please click here.
Questions People Are Asking
- What will happen to child care centres in schools?
- Will this new direction impact the role of Ontario Early Years Centres?
- If municipalities have more funding for early learning and child care for infants to 4 years old, what guarantees are there the funding will be spent on early learning and child care programs?
What Are Your Questions?
The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care is collecting your questions. From big questions to small questions, send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For most questions, there are not answers yet. But starting in the fall, we will ensure the early learning and child care sector is involved in discussions on implementing this report.
Your questions will help focus us on key issues that affect your early learning and child care program as well as make sure a broad range issues are part of decision-making.
For more information about the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care please visit http://childcareontario.org
The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care is funded by our members including child care centres, family resource programs, OEYC's, individuals and provincial groups with a mandate for universal, publicly funded, high quality, not-for-profit early learning and child care programs. For membership information, please visit our website. Thanks!