December 2013, Child Care Watch

Dec 06, 2013


What's New?  Child Care Legislation + 2014 Child Care Funding

1. New Legislation on Early Learning and Child Care
2. 2014 Child Care Funding
3. Globe and Mail Series a must read
4. Latest investigative reporting on unlicensed child care from the Toronto Star
5. Rising rents in schools put pressure on parent fees
6. Recognition of registered early childhood educators and child care staff
7. Child care advocacy – the key to better child care!

1. New Legislation on Early Learning and Child Care

The Minister of Education, Liz Sandals, introduced legislation to replace the Day Nurseries Act.

Much of the media has focused on the new rules to govern the unlicensed home child care sector, but if passed, the new legislation will replace the Day Nurseries Act and mean changes for early learning and child care.

Legislation provides the framework for our sector. The Government also issues regulations which cover many operational details. Regulations can be changed by the Minister after notice and consultation. 

For a copy of the legislation, a quick review or our selected highlights of the legislation, please click here.

For media stories, please click here.

We are optimistic!

Child care belongs in the Ministry of Education because what we do IS education.

Since our move to the Ministry of Education, we have seen a new funding formula - providing three years of reliable and predictable funding. We have seen attention to curriculum, pedagogy and quality.

We hope the Child Care Modernization Act will help bring our sector from a patchwork of programs to a system of early learning and child care that families can really depend on.

There is still a lot of work to be done, but we hope the new legislation will lay the groundwork for an effective, accountable, responsive system of early learning and child care.


2. 2014 Child Care Funding

This year, many municipalities report getting more money than expected.

Check the funding allocations below for 2014 child care funding. Be sure to compare to the amount received in 2013.

At the same time, 18 municipalities are scheduled to have cuts to child care in 2017. Last year, they received a one-time payment to cover three years of mitigation funding to guarantee stable funding for the next three years. 

There should not be cuts to child care services. We are aware several municipalities are moving ahead with cuts to child care and the OCBCC is very concerned.

If your service manager is making cuts to child care services, or if you service manager is expanding programs or services please let us know.

Make sure every dollar is spent in early learning and child care!

2013-Child Care Funding

2014-Child Care Funding


 

3.Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe & Mail, ran a must-read 6 part series on better child care.

The_case_for_publicly_funded_child_care_in_Canada.jpgStarting with a story promoting Quebec’s $7 / day child care system, the series combined videos, personal stories and interviews with experts to produce a compelling picture of the benefits of early learning and child care.

The series also focused on successful innovations in providing quality child care from Canada and around the world. The series put early learning and child care back at the top of the national agenda.

We know the public supports investments in early learning and child care. Two-thirds of participants in the poll called for a National Child Care Program.

You can see a summary and link to articles on the OCBCC website at: http://www.childcareontario.org/globe_mail_s_series_on_child_care


4. Latest investigative reporting on unlicensed child care Toronto Star

Ontario has just seen the third death in six months othe_meadows.jpg.size.xxlarge.promo.jpgf a child in unlicensed child care home. While the circumstances of the death are unknown, the need for more licensed, affordable, high-quality child care is critical to ensure safe environments for children. 


For statements in the legislature, materials and media you can visit: http://www.childcareontario.org/2013_unlicensed_child_care


5. Rising rents in schools put pressure on parent fees

Child care programs are an integral part of our schools. Fully 50% of Ontario’s child care centres, serving younger children, are physically located in schools. With full –day kindergarten, child care programs are providing extended day programs, before and after school for other age groups and summer programs.

Over the years, most child care centres have paid nominal rent for sole-use space (ie: a dedicated child care centre in a school). Grants through Community Use of Schools programs have offset other costs.
Emg_Meeting_June.jpg
However, many child care programs have been deemed not eligible for Community Use of School Funding. Even though schools boards are mandated to provide extended day programs, many are charging rent to child care programs.

Costs for before and after school programs and summer programs are rising fast.  Child care fees are going up to pay rising rental costs to school boards.

The OCBCC made a submission as part of Ontario's poverty reduction strategy that solving this important issue helps keep fees down for all parents. Ontario Government must commit to working with school boards to ensure adequate funding to boards to cover the additional hours of use of the school and ensure that there are no fees for “rent” for extended day programs for four and five year olds, before and after school programs for older children and child care programs for children from infants to 12 years old that run year-round.  Rental fees for space add anywhere from $200 to $1000 for each child in parent fees.

Please note: The new Child Care Modernization Act will amend the Education Act to allow the Minister of Education to determine the amount of money that may be charged to extended day programs or child care programs for use of space in schools.

For more media coverage including stories on financial impacts to child care centres, rising fees and difficulty finding appropriate space in schools for child care centres, please go to: http://www.childcareontario.org/child_care_impacts_fall_2013


6. Recognition of registered early childhood educators and child care staff

Respect was on the agenda for the 13th annual "Child2013_ccwad_button.gif Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day".

The day recognizes the skills, education, dedication and commitment of registered early childhood educators and other child care staff.

Thanks to the many school boards participating for the first time! Requests for free posters and buttons were the largest ever, and we will significantly increase the order for materials next year.

Both the Minister of Education Liz Sandals as well as Assistant Deputy Minister Jim Grieve issued a statement recognizing the day. In the legislature Rob Leone from the PC Party of Ontario and Peter Tabuns from the NDP Party also recognized the day.

You can see a list of municipal proclamations, organizational statements and tweets celebrating the work of child care staff at: http://www.childcareontario.org/ccwad2013info

Mark your calendars for next year – CCWAD will take place on Wednesday October 29, 2014.


7. Child care advocacy – the key to better child care!

A year ago, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care was instrumental in advocating for funding as part of the Liberal/NDP budget deal which provides $242 million over three years to address impacts from underfunding and full-day kindergarten.

Many child care service managers have received more money that expected this year. This funding comes from last year's provincial budget.

Today's additional funding shows how successful we can be when we make the case and raise our voices for more child care funding.

Every child care centre relies on the advocacy coordinated by the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

We are currently in a fundraising campaign to raise $10,000 in new annual memberships to support our 2 person staff and we need your membership!

Be a part of making child care better and join the OCBCC at: https://childcareon.nationbuilder.com/membership

We need your support! Join Us!

For Membership information, please email Alisha Singh at Alisha@childcareontario.org

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Advocacy Works! Brief History of Recent Provincial Funding:

2007 - Ontario Budget: $25 million
2008 - Ontario Budget: $25 million
2009 - Special Announcement: “Bridge funding” of $18 million
2010 - Ontario Budget: $63.5 million added to replace expiring federal funding
2010 - Special Announcement: Funding to mitigate impacts from full-day kindergarten, growing to $63 million over five years (growing to $51 million in new fee subsidies and $12 million in capital)
2012: Ontario Budget: $242 million over three years.


Andrea and Alisha
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care staff

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