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From the OCBCC: “An insult to educators, children and families”: Child care community views on the Ontario government’s proposed changes to the Child Care and Early Years Act.
The Ontario government is proposing changes to the Child Care and Early Years Act. The proposed regulations would make substantial changes to age ranges, staff to child ratios and group sizes (called “Schedule 2”); staff qualifications; before- and after-school programs; and discusses the introduction of an unlicensed child care registry.
The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care carried out an online survey on the changes with 2,443 respondents (1,693 Early Childhood Educators and 741 parents with children in child care). The survey found overwhelming opposition to most of the proposed regulatory changes. Respondents were especially concerned about changes to age groups, staff to child ratios and qualifications.
Summary of findings
Age Groups, Ratios and Group Size
- More than three quarters of respondents were opposed to all of the government’s age group and ratio proposals (“Schedule 2”):
- 90% of respondents were opposed to combining Infant and Toddler age groups
- 87% opposed proposed changes placing younger children into Preschool age groups
- 81% opposed the weakening the staff to child ratio in school-age groups
- Respondents were concerned that proposals would negatively impact the quality of child care; children’s safety and well-being; and staff well-being.
- The majority of respondents opposed all of the proposed changes to staffing qualifications:
- 62% opposed redefining “qualified employees” to include other training than Registered Early Childhood Educator;
- 68% opposed allowing unqualified short-term supply staff to replace qualified staff;
- 65% opposed relaxing a requirement that supervisors have experience in licensed child care.
Before and after school programs
- 48% of respondents were opposed to a proposal to remove a three hour limit from recreation programs, which would allow them to function as before- and after-school child care. Only 21% were in favour, 31% unsure;
Unlicensed child care registry
- Many respondents expressed confusion over what this proposal would look like – including whether it would be a mandatory or voluntary registry or whether it would provide any oversight. 60.7% of respondents were either opposed or unsure of the registry, with only 39% in support.
For the OCBCC’s full report, click here
Ontario Regulation Proposal Fact Sheet
From the OCBCC: “As part of a 5-year review of the Child Care and Early Years Act, the Ontario government is proposing regulatory changes that could place some younger children into larger groups with fewer qualified staff. Our fact sheet summarizes the Ford government’s plans for changes to child care regulation, including age ranges, ratios, group sizes, qualifications and before- and after-school programs.” To view the fact sheet, click here
Next Steps for Advocacy and Information
Learn more about the Tweet Storm to Save Garderie Tunney’s Daycare here
ECE’s Deserve $4 Pandemic Pay & Decent Work, support the campaign here
The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care has launched a new campaign called “Rising Up for Child Care!” to demand more government action on child care during the pandemic and beyond. To sign the petition and to learn more about how to get involved, click here.
Support Bill 191: Give Frontline Workers the Support they Deserve.
Participate in the campaign to ensure that COVID-19 is recognized as an occupational disease for workers who test positive here
Mayor Watson: No Pandemic Austerity – Save Ottawa’s Child Care Sector!
Sign the petition here
Tell Premier Ford: These are the actions Ontarians need.
Participate in the CUPE Ontario campaign here
Fix Long-Term Care: support the campaign here and here
Read CUPE National President Mark Hancock’s Appeal to Fix Long-Term Care here
Sign on to the OCBCC’s Emergency Plan for Ontario Child
Care in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, a plan to protect
educators, families, and children.
Endorse Child Care Now’s national Plan to Save Child Care from COVID-19.
Tell The Ford Conservatives And Your MPP
To Support Communities, Not Cuts Campaign
From Child Care Now Ottawa
A survey for parents:
We have put together a short survey to capture your experiences with child
care during COVID-19, and your concerns on child care programs reopening.
Please find the survey here
We are early childhood educators, cooks, cleaners, clerical and administrative staff, co-ordinators, home visitors, resource teachers and integration advisors, teachers and supervisors and bus attendants working in specialized preschool settings. We are the front line workers.
Together we are the union. We work in community-based child care and parent-staff co-operative programs in Eastern Ontario. We currently represent 300 staff employed in 13 different child care agencies.
At CUPE Local 2204, we’re one of the more than 2000 locals of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Canada’s largest union. Nation-wide CUPE represents more than 500,000 public sector clerical, technical, blue collar, and professional workers, employed throughout Canada by airline services, the CBC, hospitals, libraries, municipalities, nursing homes, public utility commissions, school boards, social service and child care agencies, and universities.
CUPE National’s many departments – Research, Communications, Equal Opportunities, Education, Health and Safety, Job Evaluation, Legal and Legislation, Organizing and Servicing – are staffed by persons with skills that provide our locals with the resources to be more effective.
Having a union has been an effective vehicle for achieving significantly improved salaries and benefits. In addition, it has provided us with an effective voice in the workplace and in the larger child care community. We have worked with our parents, Boards of Directors and local and provincial organizations in our struggle to achieve a high quality, universally accessible not for profit child care system. We, as a union, remain committed to this goal. It is not unusual that unions have led the way for advances in the broader community and this was certainly our experience in Ottawa. In 1986, the union advanced the issue of pensions for child care employees. After another vigorous political campaign, many child care staff now have access to a retirement plan.