February 2014, Child Care Watch

Feb 03, 2014

Child Care Watch

1. New - Survey on child care regulations!
2. Future of proposed child care legislation depends on schedule at Queen's Park
3. Municipalities receive more child care funding in 2014
4. Get ready for elections - October 27 is municipal / regional / school board elections in Ontario
5. Child Care advocacy - working together is the ONLY way to improve child care

1. OCBCC Survey on child care regulations! 

What is the difference between legislation and regulation? Legislation provides the framework, regulation actually deals with many of the day to day rules that govern the administration of early learning and child care programs.

On December 19, the Ministry of Education proposed new regulations. Comments are due by February 28. Regulations allow the Government to make the posted changes, provided they have met the minimum period for comment.

We like some of the proposed regulation changes - many child care centres will welcome mixed age groups.

But we are concerned about some of the proposed regulations. For providers who operate infant, toddler, preschool rooms the Ministry has proposed changing age groups and increasing the number of children – without increasing the number of professional RECEs.


We want your feedback on the proposed regulation changes. Take the short, four question survey.

To read the article "Ontario plan puts child care quality at risk, experts warn" please click here

for a full page of information on the legislation and regulations, please click here.


2. Future of proposed child care legislation depends on schedule at Queen's Park

On December 3rd, the Ministry of Education introduced new legislation that would replace the Day Nurseries Act.

Since then, there has been much talk of a spring election. In the event of a spring election, it is virtually impossible for the legislation to pass at Queen’s Park. To become law, the legislation must pass 2nd reading, have public hearings, pass 3rd reading and receive “Royal Assent”.
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The OCBCC met with both opposition parties – the New Democrats and the Progressive Conservatives in December. We told both parties that we have been fierce critics of the Liberal government – especially with regard to unlicensed child care. With three deaths of children last year in unlicensed home child care, people all across Ontario believe the government must take action to protect children.

We are not alone in our concern about unlicensed child care. According to a Forum Research poll from last year “Two thirds of Ontarians say unlicensed daycares should not be allowed to operate in the province”.

Click here to see the poll.

While we would have gone further and insisted that all home child care be licensed through an agency, we support the new legislation and want to see it passed.


To see selected highlights (15 pages) of the new legislation please click here.

For Media coverage of new child care legislation, please click here:


  3. Municipalities receive more child care funding in 2014

Most municipalities (CMSM or DSSAB's) have received more money than they expected for 2014 child care funding.

Many municipalities are able to make improvements to child care with additional fee subsidies, wage increases or other improvements.

For a chart showing 2013 funding, 2014 funding and the amount of new money your municipality or DSSAB may have have received, please click here.TCBCC.jpg

 At the OCBCC, we are tracking how municipalities are spending child care funding. Many municipalities are currently in the process of approving their annual budgets for 2014. 

If you have any information about how your municipality is spending new child care funding, I really need to hear from you! Please call me at 1-800-594-7514 x 4 or email andrea@childcareontario.org

Two articles on municipal funding increases are:

Toronto Star: Toronto gets daycare funding boost from Queen's Park
January 8, 2014.

Waterloo The Record: Region gets $1.3 million boost to child-care funding
December 20, 2013.


4. Get ready for elections for municipal and regional councillors and school board trustees on  October 27, 2014.

Councillors and trustees play important roles in Ontario's child care system. 

For example, it is up to local politicians to decide how child care funding is spent locally. These local politicians are current deciding how new money for child care should be spent.

Federal and provincial governments pass child care funding to municipalities who are responsible for delivering child care services.  City or regional councillors oversee child care funding along with local service managers and children's service staff. We need to build strong relationships with the staff who work in children's services and the councillors who are decision-makers and responsible for allocating funding.

School Board Trustees are responsible for setting the vision of the school board. That vision must include supporting child care programs that help create family friendly schools and contribute to the social, emotional and cognitive development of children.

We will be producing a kit to help you reach out to your local candidates. It's a great opportunity to help candidates learn about their role in our child care system, develop relationships and put child care on the agenda on October 27, 2014.

 


5. Child care advocacy – working together is the only way to improve child care.

In 2012, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care was instrumental in advocating for funding as part of the Liberal/NDP budget deal which allocated new money to child care over three years.

The additional money that municipalities are receiving this year comes from that huge win for child care.

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

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

We know what it is like to work hard - we can't do it without the support of child care centres and individual RECEs.

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


Andrea and Alisha
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care staff

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