Child care counts! Ontario government needs to protect child care in our schools

Feb 12, 2015

Melanie.jpgIn light of the whirlwind of potential school closures in Toronto, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care is calling on the provincial government to protect child care centres in schools, which are vital community services.

With child care now part of the Ministry of Education, we are asking Education Minister Liz Sandals to halt the closures and protect these child care spaces.

“The closure of a community child care centre causes instability for families as they scramble to piece together new arrangements, but this problem is preventable.” said OCBCC president Sheila Olan-MacLean.

We are calling on the Ontario government to:

  • Support child care programs at risk from closure and displacement;
  • Amend Education Act Regulation 444 to allow public and non-profit child care centres to lease school space at low cost.

If the province wants to live up to their commitments to their own Schools First policy for child care they need to help maintain essential school-based community services. Ontario needs to move from just promoting the idea of child care in school space to protecting real child care centres currently operating in schools – and building more.

School boards too have a responsibility to work collaboratively and respectfully with child care programs - which provide important community services within schools.

“Almost half of the schools on the Toronto District School Board’s review list house child care programs. With regulated child care for only 1 in 5 Ontario children, we cannot afford to lose one child care space.” said OCBCC Public Policy and Government Relations Coordinator Carolyn Ferns.

Contact:

Carolyn Ferns

Public Policy and Government Relations Coordinator

Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

416-538-0628 x 4

More information

 - In addition to instructional space used to calculate utilization rates, schools often include child care centres, parent and family literacy centres and provide green space and playgrounds that serve as local parks. A school that may be deemed underutilized may in reality be a thriving community hub.

- A research report released Tuesday from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives lifted the lid of the unfairness of the province’s funding formula, which dates back to the Harris era.

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