AECEO Submission to the Ministry of Education, Child Care and Early Years Act 5-year Review

The AECEOs submission to the 5-year review on the CCEYA was an opportunity to raise the voice of ECEs and address specific areas of concern identified by the profession. We asked AECEO members what opportunities and barriers they are experiencing in practice when thinking about pedagogy, culturally relevant practice and inclusion, and what they would recommend. We heard from you that:

I would like to see more staff in each room so that every child has the same chance of learning
and the same opportunities that they deserve.” – RECE

Small adult:child ratios have been a wonderful way to welcome children back to care and
complete all the extra cleaning that is needed … We had participated in so much professional
learning over our 4 months away from the site, these lower ratios are allowing us to put that
theory into practice.” – RECE

Quality Assessment tools are not culturally-relevant or even locally relevant at times. There is too
much focus on environment rather than focus on relationships educators are building with children.” – RECE

While we are beginning to have more pedagogical conversations to build educator teams
awareness and understanding of these practices, access to the materials/resources needed to
engage in true experimentation - time, space, physical materials – continues to be a challenge” – RECE

The most significant barrier to engaging in pedagogical thinking is that there is not enough time
to make this a priority. ECEs must prioritize cleaning, room setup and planning. Engaging in
meaningful consideration of pedagogy is a luxury for which many Educators do not have the time
or support.” - RECE

Alongside our membership consultation, and dialogues with early learning and child care sector partners, the AECEO developed the following recommendation.

We assert that the Ministry of Education must:

• Ensure professional pay and decent work for early childhood educators by enshrining in legislation a provincial wage scale, a mechanism for ongoing consultation with the EC workforce, an Early Childhood Workforce Learning Framework, and enhanced staff:child ratios.
• Rethink quality by embedding relational and ethical understandings of quality into legislation and increasing the required number of qualified staff in ELCC programs.
• Ensure access to culturally relevant pedagogy and programming by legislating recognition and respect for local and cultural knowledge and pedagogy and ensuring appropriate funding and authority to First Nations, Inuit and Metis and Francophone communities and programs.
• Begin to address systemic Anti-Black racism through legislated pre-service and in-service education, anti-racist policies and practice, and a further review of the CCEYA through an Anti-Racist lens as recommended by the Community of Black ECEs.
• Develop a comprehensive, interdisciplinary inclusion strategy that adopts the policy recommendations of the Inclusive Early Childhood Service System Project.
• Implement base-funding to licensed centre-based care and home child care agencies and introduce a moratorium on new for-profit development as a first step towards a universal child care system.

Read the full submission here.