Ontario plan puts child care quality at risk, experts warn

The Toronto Star

“Child care experts and advocates say a provincial proposal to allow babies and toddlers in licensed daycares to be cared for in larger groups with fewer adults is the wrong way to promote quality.”

The proposed regulatory changes to child-staff ratios and group sizes are intended to provide child care centres with more flexibility, however child care experts say the “the changes run contrary to recommendations by the American Public Health Association, the Canadian Pediatrics Society and other child development experts”, and want the Wynne government to take more time, hold public consultations and review the research.

Jane Mercer of the Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care speaks on the proposed ratios to put children ages 1-2 years, with a group size of 15 and 3 staff.

“They are just learning to walk, they are charging all over everywhere and everyone, they bump into anything or bite anyone. They are adorable, but they are a wild little age group. I think it’s really dangerous to have that many children in one room,” she said.

Andrea Calver of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care says “it’s great that for the first time, the province is introducing quality and curriculum goals in its daycare legislation. But (staff-child) ratios are the third rail of child care politics”.

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