In June 2010, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care wrote to invite the Ministry of Colleges, Training and Universities to meet to discuss solutions to protect the existing child care centres and lab schools on Ontario college campuses.
In recent years there has been a dangerous trend of lab school and college child care centre closures across Ontario and we wanted to bring to the attention of the ministry the ways in which this works against the provincial government's initiatives in both early learning and apprenticeship programs.
- college child care centres provide much needed child care for students, staff and faculty
- all colleges with an ECE program should have a “lab school” as an essential part of a high quality early childhood education program
- As Dr. Pascal noted in his report “With Our Best Future in Mind”, lab schools “are essential to the preparation of the early childhood workforce and can test resources and explore best practices”
- The Ministry of Education has already sounded the alarm on a shortage of qualified ECE’s in the future. The Ministry of Colleges, Training and Universities should work to develop a vibrant apprenticeship program
To read the letter we sent the Ministry, please click here.
We recently received a response from Minister John Milloy. Though we suggested that all college ECE programs should be mandated to have a lab school, and emphasized the role these programs could have not only in training ECEs for Full Day Learning but also be spaces for Child and Family Centres and other elements of Dr. Pascal's vision, Mr. Milloy does not see the role his ministry can play. He suggests that the decision to run child care programs is up to individual colleges, and suggests there are other venues for placements meaning that the closure of lab schools is not to the detriment of quality ECE programs.
To read his response, please click here.
By refusing to take on this issue, Minister Milloy is working against the government's commitment to create a strong early learning and care program in Ontario.