June 2010: Update on Early Learning

Jun 22, 2010

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Many thanks to the Early Learning Division for this comprehensive list of updated information and resources.

OCBCC Meeting with Minister of Education Leona Dombrowski.

In photo - Eduarda Sousa, Tracy Saarikoski, Minister Dombrowski, Andrea Calver and Carrol Anne Sceviour

 

a) Transfer of responsibility for child care from MCYS to the Ministry of Education

In April, the government announced that the Ministry of Education will be responsible for child care. This transfer of responsibility is intended to help children make smoother transitions from the child care system to the education system.

The transfer of responsibility will be phased. Child care policy and program responsibilities were transferred on May 3, 2010. The Ministry of Education will take on responsibilities for funding and contract management in the fall.

In April, the government announced that Minister of Children and Youth Services Laurel Broten will work with Dr. Charles Pascal and various programs and agencies that support young children and families, to plan how to integrate and coordinate services for parents of infants and young children.

 

b) June 22: New Memo on Allocation of Subsidies for Early Learning Programs

ust released - this memo to Municipal Child Care Managers describes how subsidies will be allocated for extended day programs.

Important notes:

- In 2010-11, up to $10.32 million may be reallocated from existing subsidy funds to support children enrolled in extended day subsidies. In addition, $1.65 million in new funding has been allocated for extended day subsidies.

- School boards will set fees for the extended day. They will invoice municipal service managers. The fees will be reviewed by municipal service managers on an annual basis.

- Existing municipal wait list policies will continue to apply where demand exceeds available funding.

- Current MCYS service contacts will be used for the first year and the "process will be reviewed for Year 2 and beyond, depending on a broader systems review".

Early Analysis:

- Regulations governing the Extended Day Programs were just recently released. As a result of the short time frame, many school boards will not operate Extended Day Programs next year. With few programs, that could mean fewer subsidies required by school boards.

- It is incredibly important to review current local child care wait list management policies. For example, some municipalities have "age equity" policies in their current service plans. That means that school aged subsidies can be hard to come by with priority to infant and toddler subsidies. Existing policies will be one way we ensure that there are available subsidies for younger children.

-The OCBCC is very optimistic about a "broader review" of the current subsidy system which will involve reviewing child care subsidies as well as subsidies for the Extended Day. We will be working with the Early Learning Division on a working group on child care financing to look at options for sustaining our early learning and child care programs.

Click to read;

EL- 9 Memo on Administration of Fee Subsidy for Extended Day Programs

En Francais EL9 Memo en Francais

 

c) Full-Day Learning Year two schools announced June 15, 2010.

Press Release

Ministry of Education Memo on Site Selection

 

d)  Bill 242 - Legislation Implementing Full-Day Learning in Ontario

The Full-Day Early Learning Statute Law Amendment Act, 2010   has been passed by the legislature and proclaimed into law. Highlights of the act include the following:

• gives school boards the responsibility and authority to implement full-day kindergarten for four- and five-year-olds, staffed by teachers and early childhood educators
• gives school boards the responsibility and authority to deliver an extended day program, before and after the school day, for four- and five-year-olds, led by early childhood educators
• allows boards to offer before- and after-school programs for students aged six to 12
• allows boards to offer programs throughout the year for students aged four to 12, including non-instructional days such as professional development days, school breaks and summer holidays
• recognizes the new role of early childhood educators in full-day learning classes
• requires collaboration among teachers and early childhood educators to provide high-quality and effective play-based education to support enhanced learning and cognitive, emotional and social development for children

Link to Final Bill 242

 

e) Regulations - Futher Details on Implementing Full-Day Learning

Memo EL-7 - Regulations and Guidelines for Full Day Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten and Extended Day Programs, was released on June 8.

Ministry of Education Memo on Regulations

• O.Reg. 224/10 – Full Day Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten
• O.Reg. 225/10 – Extended Day Programs
• Guideline – Extended Day Fees Disclosure Process
• Guideline – Extended Day Program Unit Staffing Ratios

Highlights include the following:

• The extended day program can be operated by third-party providers in boards with pre-existing written agreements. The providers must be licensed or authorized under the Day Nurseries Act and the program must be offered within the school. The transition period for use of third-party providers is two years for phase 1 schools and one year for phase 2 schools.
• Extended day programs are not considered viable if the ratio of students to staff is less than 10:1. Boards must determine viability separately for before school and after school.
• Boards will approve extended day fees at a public board meeting before the end of June and will post the fees on their website.
• In full-day kindergarten classes of fewer than 16 students, an ECE is not required. This applies to only one kindergarten class per school, or one English and one French immersion kindergarten class in schools which offer kindergarten in both languages.

 

f) Full-Day Early Learning-Kindergarten Program Curriculum

Link to Program Curriculum

The full-day kindergarten program document, including the introduction, is posted on the ministry website.

An accompanying document for the extended day program will be released in the summer.

Also available:
 reference guide for educators

• question and answer guide for parents

 

g) Children with special needs/special education needs

On May 6, the Ministries of Children and Youth Services, Education, and Health and Long-Term Care issued a joint memo [] about services for students with special needs or special education needs in year one of full-day kindergarten.

Multi - Ministry Memo on Services for Students with Special Needs

Also provided:
• Guiding principles for serving students with special needs in full-day kindergarten in year one
• Planning Entry to School resource guide

 

h) Child care stabilization funding

Child care stabilization funding will be phased in over five years, growing to $51 million annually at full implementation, to help stabilize child care centres, as four- and five-year-olds move into the full-day kindergarten program in schools.

The government has also committed $12 million over five years to help non-profit child care centres make retrofits and renovations to serve younger children.

Child care stabilization funds will be transmitted to municipalities once annual child care service system plans have been submitted.

• Announcement of stabilization funding

 

i) Wage subsidy

Wage improvement funding under Best Start was introduced in 2006-07 and provides additional wage increases for early childhood program staff. There have been no changes to wage subsidy funding at this time.

The wage subsidy program was first introduced in 1987. Wage subsidies (including wage enhancement and wage improvement funding) enhance the salaries and benefits of staff employed in licensed child care centres, licensed home child care providers, resource centres and agencies that provide supports to children with special needs.

 

j) More information

• Ministry of Education website: www.edu.gov.on.ca/earlylearning

• Early learning memos – http://cal2.edu.gov.on.ca

• The Full-Day Early Learning–Kindergarten Program 2010-11, draft www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/kindergarten_english_apr13.pdf

• Bill 242 The Full Day Early Learning Statute Law Amendment Act, 2010
www.ontla.on.ca/bills/bills-files/39_Parliament/Session2/b242rep.pdf

Still have questions about the early learning program?

• You can also submit questions directly to the Ministry of Education website. All questions are answered, and frequently asked questions are posted on the ministry website.

 

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