Ontario child-care proposals meet mounting opposition

The Toronto Star

“Ontario’s former early learning advisor, Charles Pascal, says he has “serious concerns” about a provincial plan to allow licensed daycares to put babies and toddlers in larger groups with fewer trained staff.”

Pascal says the regulations need to reflect what we know about quality, and the provinces need to take the time required “to get it right”.

 “The ratios and the lack of research that underpins (the government’s) choices is disturbing,” Pascal said. “But for me the more disturbing issue is the lack of attention to the number of highly qualified, well-paid early learning professionals that will be in these groupings.”

“Dozens of academics and advocates as well as numerous child-care operators across the province have signed an open letter to Sandals, urging her to re-think the regulations, which they say threaten quality and even safety.”

The child-care community is calling for a review of research and more consultation, which would include dialogue with the ministry officials on the group sizes and ratios, and policy elements such as staff training, programming, safety, financing and facilities.

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