On June 27, Minister Broten released a discussion paper on “Modernizing Child Care in Ontario”.
The report includes questions about our collective vision for Ontario’s early learning and care system. The Ministry is looking for feedback on the report and will be taking responses until the end of September.
The OCBCC has a few thoughts on the paper.
1. The proposed action plan is focussed on "maintaining and improving service in the current child care system rather than growing the system through the creation of new child care spaces or additional subsidies”. Our mandate is universal, affordable child care, but the child care system today is on the verge of collapse, because of chronic underfunding. We will continue to push for funding, but we also need to focus on maintain the existing programs in our community.
2. The Ministry and the OCBCC will both need to look for creative ways to involve people in this process. The document has 23 open-ended questions for response. Instead of random responses we will be looking for ways to build consensus about the vision for child care and we would encourage the Ministry to do the same. It’s not enough to mail out the discussion paper – meaningful consultation must be more than that.
3. There was no mention of not-for-profit child care anywhere in report. While this is a tough issue for the Ministry to deal with, a vision for child care can’t avoid “tough issues”
4. This report is an essential first step to change. The worse thing that could happen no change, because today’s early learning and child care programs are too expensive, there are not enough spaces and our hard-working staff don’t earn what they should. These problems are so critical, that we risk losing child care programs that much-needed by children, parents and communities. The funding needs to change, the regulations need to change. We need to develop a vision of where we want child care to be in ten years and make sure every step takes us in the right direction.
For a one page summary, please click here. (produced by the OCBCC)
For the questions, please click here. (produced by the OCBCC)
For the discussion paper in English, please click here.
For the discussion paper in French, please click here.