The Ontario child care sector has been facing some dramatic changes including a new funding formula that could affect child care wage grants, new legislation, the introduction of full-day kindergarten, a wage enhancement for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and closures of several municipal child care centres. This is all occurring amidst a national conversation about the future of child care in Canada with at least one political party including a national child care program in their platform for the 2015 federal election.
Find out more about what’s happening with child care below:
What’s the concern?
The province plans to dilute ratios by significantly changing the current children to adult (staff) ratio to allow more children and less staff. CUPE Ontario believes that what the Liberals are proposing is not in the best interest of children.
Reducing the child to adult ratios, many experts agree, not only threatens program quality, but creates the potential for health and safety risks for children and increased stress on ECEs and child care staff.
What’s more, none of the changes the government wants to make take into consideration a positive inclusive learning environment or the programming supports for children with special needs.
Read more about the province’s proposed changes to child care
Early in December 2013 the Ministry of Education introduced new legislation (Bill 143, the Child Care Modernization Act) to replace the Day Nurseries Act. Much of Bill 143 is focused on bringing additional oversight to unlicensed home daycares. The CUPE Ontario statement (Increased Ontario government oversight, regulation for unlicensed child care long-overdue) on Bill 143, which is not yet law can be found by clicking here.