SAWRO- Press Release: Early Learning Education Policy Excluted Our Community From Full-day Kindergarten

Jan 06, 2010

SAWROThe South Asian Women's Rights Organization is an incredible partner group for the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

With hundreds of women who need child care, we support their many efforts to have increased services for the women in their community.

South Asian Women's Rights Organization try to unveil the real truth of Government policy on early learning education system which will left behind immigrant and marginalized community.

PRESS RELEASE: EXCLUSION OF OUR COMMUNITY BY THE TDSB DECISION ON FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN

On Friday, December 11 the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) released a list of 75 elementary schools it is proposing be included in Phase 1 of full-day kindergarten and junior kindergarten for September 2010. The women of the Teesdale Place/Crescent Town neighborhood are deeply disappointed to learn that our local schools are excluded from the first phase plan.

We have been excluded even though our schools—Oakridge Jr PS and Crescent Town ES—are among those with the highest number of children from low-income families.  Our poor neighborhood of immigrants and other racialized people is exactly the kind of neighborhood that was supposed to get priority in the full-day kindergarten roll-out.

The Pascal Report on early learning and childcare recommended that priority be given to poor neighborhoods in the first phase of implementing full-day kindergarten and all-day childcare. The Ontario government promised priority to poor neighborhoods in Phase 1 as part of its “poverty reduction strategy”.  The women of our community and other poor neighborhoods feel betrayed—these promises have been broken.

In immigrant and racialized neighborhoods like ours all of the families are chained to poverty by the lack of access to childcare. In many of these neighborhoods children are far behind by the time they start grade one.  It is unacceptable that the women and children in the most urgent and desperate need be asked to wait.

It is also unacceptable that the entire process of rolling out the first phase of all-day kindergarten is wrapped in secrecy, with political spin replacing information.  It is unacceptable that affected people are locked out of the decision making

On a schedule dictated by the Ontario government, everything is being decided behind closed doors by Ministry and Board staff.  Decisions are being rushed through without any opportunity for parents or communities to be involved in the decisions. School principals and Parent Councils have no information and even elected school board Trustees are out of the loop.

The aim of Queen’s Park and the Board is very clear—minimize public information and engagement with the roll-out of full-day kindergarten. But this issue involves our schools, our kids, our lives—we have a right to be involved in deciding.

In Teesdale/Crescent Town our community women have been meeting for over a year to investigate the issues of childcare and early learning and to make our community’s opinion heard.  We have determined that access to childcare and early learning is a matter of fundamental human rights and the duty of municipal, provincial and federal governments is to ensure these rights. We demand from governments:

- PRIORITY TO POOR NEIGHBORHOODS IN FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN ROLL-OUT AS PROMISED
- IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION OF ALL RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PASCAL REPORT
- FULL FUNDING OF CHILDCARE/EARLY LEARNING SUBSIDY ENTITLEMENT
- A NATIONAL CHILD CARE/EARLY LEARNING PROGRAM ACCESSIBLE TO EVERY WOMAN AND CHILD

 

Click here to their website, to learn more about The South Asian Women's Rights Organization

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