The AECEO is deeply concerned by the regulation changes to the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, the Education Act, and the Employment Standards Act, 2000, proposed in Bill 66. These changes will lead Ontario in the wrong direction, one that compromises the quality of care and education for young children and does not contribute to purposeful system building.
RECEs benefit when they are well supported and can attend to and engage with the children in their care purposefully and meaningfully. In turn, children and families benefit from higher quality programs when RECEs are well supported and well compensated. From this perspective, we believe the government must reconsider their approach and take on their responsibility of funding and supporting early years services and RECEs.
We urge the government to withdraw Bill 66 and to engage in a full public consultation process on all of its provisions with respect to the Early Childhood Education and Care system in Ontario.
Click HERE to read the AECEO's full submission to the Standing Committee on General Government.
The AECEO fully supports the two educator model and current class sizes in Full Day Kindergarten (FDK).
An extensive body of empirical evidence documents the learning benefits of the two-educator (RECE and OCT), play-based FDK curriculum model for children’s learning. The unique and complimentary training of RECEs and OCTs working in partnership lends itself to rich educational and developmental learning opportunities for children at a critical point in their young lives. Ontario has been, and continues to be, a leader in early learning since it acted on the innovative recommendations of the commissioned report, With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario, completed in 2009.
We are only now beginning to realize the benefits of Ontario’s existing FDK program for children and families. While we recognize the roll-out of a program of this size and nature would have challenges, all current evidence suggests Ontario’s unique, two educator model, play-based FDK program is significantly benefiting Ontario’s children and families.
The AECEO acknowledges that improvements are always possible in the early childhood education system – and we emphasize that government change to policy and process should be based on the highest quality research evidence, careful analyses of empirical data, and through comprehensive consultation.
We urgently call on the government to reconsider any changes it may propose to the FDK program in Ontario without reviewing the research evidence and engaging in a formal, transparent and systematized consultation with stakeholders including parents and educators.
It is imperative that Full Day Kindergarten, with the RECE-OCT educator team and a class size hard cap of twenty-six, remain universally accessible to all of Ontario’s children.
Please click here to read AECEO's full submission to the Ministry of Education's Class Size Consultation