During an interview with Melanie Ng for BT on January 20, 2020, the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, referred to the Kindergarten Program teaching partnership as having “one EA and one Teacher”. While we appreciate the tremendously valuable work of Educational Assistants, and recognize they are an integral part of our schools, it is Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) who work alongside OCTs in the Kindergarten program. The AECEO wrote to Minister Lecce to express our deep concern with his statement, in which he failed "to appropriately identify ECEs in their important and legislated role in the Kindergarten teaching partnership."
We find Minister Lecce's comment detrimental and hurtful, as it makes "the ethically and socially important work of ECEs and their contributions to children, families, and their teaching partners invisible. This dedicated, predominantly female workforce expresses that their work is often undervalued and unappreciated, which is then confirmed by the deep disparity in remuneration and working conditions they experience in the school system."
"Early childhood educators deserve better. They deserve respect and recognition. Specifically, they deserve this from the Minister of Education." We've called on Minister Lecce to apologize to ECEs in Ontario. We encourage you to send your own email to Minister Lecce at email@example.com or Minister.EDU@ontario.ca.
Read the AECEO's full letter here.