Stop the Child Care Changes Campaign

Unless the government changes course, their proposed regulatory changes to the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) could take effect as soon as next month. So even though their consultations are over, our fight to #StopTheChildCareChanges is more important than ever. We asked the ECEC community to show us how you feel about the changes and we are excited to share the collaborative videos created from the amazing submissions. Check back on this page as we will be sharing the videos as they are created.

We have created an email template for following up on the multitude of submissions the Ministry received. It's important for Minister Lecce to hear directly from the community because we know our voices are stronger together. The AECEO and OCBCC are preparing a series of policy briefs on the proposals to inform the community and public.

Here are your links to help you participate in this important phase of the campaign:

Video 1 No to the Child Care changes!  

Video 2  No to the Child Care changes 2!

Video 3 ECE Students say No to the Child Care changes!

Video 4 Children say No to the Child Care changes!

AECEO/OCBCC Policy briefs - new ones will be posted at this link as they are created

Email template - please customize and use to email Minister Lecce as soon as possible. 

Look up your MPP (to copy on your email to Minister Lecce)

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AECEO Submission on proposed regulatory amendments to the CCEYA

In responding to the consultation on the proposed regulatory changes to the Child Care and Early Years Act
(CCEYA), the AECEO consulted with our members and the early learning and child care (ELCC) sector to
raise the voice of ECEs, early years staff, and families and address specific areas of concern identified by the
profession.

The AECEO recommends the Ministry of Education:

  • Does not proceed with the following proposed regulatory changes:

o A1. Schedule 2 – Requirements for Age Groupings, Ratios, Maximum Group Size, and
Proportion of Qualified Staff;
o A3. Authorized Recreational and Skill Build Programs;
o B1. Qualified Employees;
o B2. Short-Term Supply Staff; and
o B3. Qualification Requirements for Child Care Centre Supervisors

  • Abandon the consideration of an registry of unlicensed home child care providers

Instead, we reassert the following recommendations from the consultation period which were not reflected in
the current regulatory posting. The Ministry of Education should:

  • 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.2

The position of the AECEO is informed by consultation with our members and the ECEC sector, facilitated
through meetings, email responses, and a community survey of over 2400 educators and families.

Click HERE to read our full submission.

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Week of Action to Stop the Child Care Changes

WoA_countdown.pngThis is the last week to share your thoughts on the proposed changes to the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCYEA). We have surveyed the sector, and the results are overwhelming in their opposition to many of the proposed changes. We know that there are many ongoing challenges our sector is facing, but the sector has spoken – this is not the way to address them.

The AECEO and OCBCC are holding a Week of Action to #StopTheChildCareChanges. We want to ensure the Ministry hears from you before the consultation period closes. We encourage you to use this opportunity to share your perspective and advocate for our profession and sector.

 Monday: Email your submission to the Ministry of Education

If you haven’t had the opportunity to email a submission to the Ministry of Education, today is the day. We have created an email template where you can personalize your response. We are asking you to include us by cc-ing (info@aeceo.ca/info@childcareontario.org). We are doing this so we can hold the Ministry accountable and to inform our formal submission.

You can find the email template HERE

Send responses to: CCEYA_consultation@ontario.ca

Tuesday: Call your MPP!

We know that as a regulatory posting, these changes can be passed without a vote. However – we also know that MPP’s will speak up when they know their constituents are opposed to changes or they will have a negative impact on their community. Let’s call our MPPs and let them know what we think of the proposed changes to the CCEYA. Don’t know what to say? We’ve got a template to help you, but remember – your voice, experience, and ideas matter, and you are the best person to speak about how these changes will impact you and your community.

To find the phone call template, click HERE

To find your MPP, click HERE

12 pm Wednesday: LunchtimeTwitter Storm

Let’s take it to social media and remind Premier Ford, Education Minister Lecce, and the public why our sector deserves better than watered down regulations. Please share your story of how these changes will impact you, children, families, and your communities. Be sure to tag us at @AECEO and @ChildCareON and use the hashtags #RisingUpForChildCare and #StopTheChildCareChanges.

 For example:

@Sflecce + @fordnation – We need you to #StopTheChildCareChanges because (Insert your story here). We are #RisingUpForChildCare with @AECEO + @ChildCareON

 Or,

@Sflecce + @fordnation – Children, families and educators deserve better than watered down regulations. It's time to #StopTheChildCareChanges and start #RisingUpForChildCare with a national child care system! @AECEO @ChildCareON

 Or,

@Sflecce + @fordnation – It’s not quality early childhood education without the early childhood educator. It's time to #StopTheChildCareChanges and start #RisingUpForChildCare with #DecentWork for ECEs! @AECEO @ChildCareON

Thursday: Share Your Submissions

We know many individuals and organizations have made submissions to the consultation on the CCEYA. We also know the report back from the 5-year review on the CCEYA didn’t show the full story. We know many are opposed to these changes, and we need to ensure that this is visible and public. Let’s all share our submissions, through social media and our networks, to show this sector is united and strong. On Twitter please tag us at @AECEO and @ChildCareON and use the hashtags #RisingUpForChildCare and #StopTheChildCareChanges or on Facebook at @AECEOntario and @OCBCC.

Friday: Call out to the Minister of Education

Education Minister Stephen Lecce needs to hear from you – the people who will be directly impacted by the changes his Ministry is proposing. Let’s make sure, on the last day of the consultation period, he has no doubt about where we stand on the proposed changes. Let’s make sure he hears our collective voice, and he feels our ECE Power. On Friday, let’s all take a few minutes to call Minister Lecce and tell him we are opposed to changes to age ranges/group sizes/ratios and to staff qualifications. Let’s tell him why children, families and educators deserve better.

We have a template to support you – but remember, your voices and experiences matter, and they deserve to be heard. 

Ministry office: 416-325-2600

Constituency office: 647-560-9700  



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“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.

CCEYA Survey Executive Summary 

CCEYA Survey Full Report

CCEYA Response Tools

Press Release

Cover_survey_report.jpgThe 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.

Staff qualifications

  • 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.
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Proposed Regulatory Amendments to CCEYA Released

On Friday afternoon the Ministry of Education released the Proposed Regulatory Amendments resulting from the 5-year review of the Child Care and Early Years Act. There are a number of problematic proposed changes, including but not limited to proposed changes to age groupings/ratios (p. 3-4) and qualification requirements (p. 7-8) [see below].
 
We know there are long-standing issues in the child care and early years sector. However, many of these proposed amendments are not in the best interest of children, families, educators, and the future of the sector. They compromise pedagogical integrity, the safety and well-being of children and educators, and fail to acknowledge the important work of ECEs in all their settings. As the OCBCC states, “Expanding access does not have to come at the cost of quality. We continue to call on the Ford government to truly make child care a priority, to work with the federal government to build a publicly funded child care system with decent work for educators and access for all.”
 
We will use our collective voice to resist these changes. We will continue our thorough review of all the proposed amendments as we write a formal response to the regulatory posting. We will be developing supports and tools for the sector to provide their feedback to the Proposed Regulatory Amendments - look for those later this week.
 
What would these changes mean for you? We need to hear from you. Our #RisingUp stories have been highlighting the challenges we are experiencing, and showing why Ontario must be a part of a nation child care system that ensures decent work and pay for ECEs. To read the #RisingUp stories, learn how to share your story, and sign the petition visit https://www.childcareontario.org/risingup
  • A. “Flexibility and Responsiveness”
    A1. Schedule 1- Age Groupings, Ratios, Maximum Group Size, and Proportion of Qualified Staff, which reintroduces the 0-24month (infant), 24 months-5 years (preschool) model. (p. 3-4)
    A3. Authorized Recreational and Skill Build Programs, which would “allow specified Authorized Recreational and Skill Building Programs to operate for more than three consecutive hours.” (p. 6) (*Important to note, we do not disagree with providing First Nations and Urban Indigenous the legislated right to deliver Indegeous-led programming).
     
    B. “Qualification Requirements”
    B1. “Qualified Employees” which would allow non-ECE staff to be designated as Qualified Staff in the kindergarten age group, licensed junior school age group or a licensed primary/junior school age group. (p. 7-8)
    B3. “Qualification Requirements for Child Care Centre Supervisors” which would replace requirements for experience in ‘licensed child care’ with ‘children’s programming/services.’ (p. 9)
     
    Discussion Question #2: Registry of Unlicensed Child Care Providers, to which “the government is seeking feedback about how to support the delivery of child care in such settings” (p. 34)

To read the Proposed Regulatory Amendment document visit: https://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/showAttachment.do?postingId=34107&attachmentId=45856

RESPONSE TOOLKIT

Click HERE to read the AECEO's submission on the 5-year review of the CCEYA.

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Speech from the Throne

Today in the Speech From the Throne, the Federal Government announced a commitment to “a significant, long-term, sustained investment to create a Canada-wide early learning and childcare system.” This is a bold statement which shows the power of advocacy and raising our collective voice. We are proud of the work early childhood educators, early years staff and allies have done in the past months to amplify the call for systems change.  

But, the work does not end here. We must continue to raise our voices and ensure that the system we create is publicly funded, responsive, inclusive, and has decent work at the core, that educators are cared for, so they can fully engage in the important work they do with children, families, and communities. We are #RisingUpForChildCare and all educators together.

https://www.canada.ca/en/privy-council/campaigns/speech-throne/2020/stronger-resilient-canada.html

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/throne-speech-trudeau-address-2020-1.5735325

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New Report: Revisiting From Reopening to Recovery

0001_(1).jpgIn May we released “From Reopening to Recovery: A Child Care Plan for Ontario”, which included 27 recommendations for the Ontario government. Our plan and its recommendations aimed to keep children, educators and families safe, maintain confidence in the licensed child care system, and ensure stability in the sector. In June the Ontario government announced a reopening plan for the child care sector that roundly ignored this advice.

Now, two months after the province announced child care centres could reopen, only approximately half of Ontario’s child care centres have done so. We continue to hear from educators and operators across the province who feel ignored, undervalued, isolated and confused. Yet throughout the pandemic meaningful and caring pedagogical programs continue to exist; they are making the most of a difficult situation and are making it work. They are doing this in spite of inadequate policy and funding. Imagine what would be possible if educators in every program were well supported. Imagine what would be possible for children and families if the early years system in Ontario was well-funded and well-managed.

In this new report, we revisit our recommendations from Reopening to Recovery, review the government’s response and (in)action on each topic, discuss current issues, and update our recommendations.

From Reopening to Recovery

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From Reopening to Recovery: Where are we now?

Thanks to all who joined us on August 11, 2020 for our Webinar From Reopening to Recovery: Where are we now?

If you were not able to join us, the following materials were introduced/noted in the webinar.

Keep an eye out for the new report Revisiting "Reopening to Recovery": A Child Care Plan for Ontario (will be posted here), and share with your colleagues and networks.

You can find the powerpoint slides here.

You can access the Campaign Tool-kit here.

You can reach out join an AECEO Community of Practice here:

Calls to action:

Upcoming:

 

 

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eceLINK Summer 2020 - Now available online

In this issue:

 We would like to thank the following advertisers for helping to support this issue of the eceLINK:

ECE Qualifications Upgrade Program

School Specialty

University of Guelph/Humber

Johnson Insurance

Read_more_button.png (AECEO Member Access)

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A Universal Child Care System with Decent Work at its Core Must be the Goal of Ontario’s Review of the Child Care and Early Years Act

Joint Statement from the Professional Pay and Decent Work Project

It is a critical time for early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Ontario. Across the sector educators, operators, families, and allies are calling for change. The mandated 5-year review of the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) must be an opportunity to ensure that we do not go backwards, or further entrench a fragmented, market approach to vital ECEC programs. The province has allowed a short turnaround time for the public to respond. Deadline for written submissions are July 31, 2020. Letters and submissions should be sent to cceya_consultation@ontario.ca.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made public the failures of a market model approach in organizing and delivering ECEC programs. Where programs have adapted and responded to the pandemic, they have done so in spite of the failures of the system. The gaps and inequities that result from our current patchwork are not new, but they have become more visible as the pandemic drew attention to the lack of infrastructure to support ECEC programs.

Ontario must not be complacent about the CCEYA review. Ontario´s legislated quality standards and supports lag behind most other Canadian jurisdictions (see attached). A modern early years act is needed, one that reflects children´s entitlement to quality programs regardless of their unique abilities, cultural or ethnic origins, or family income. Parent fees would be eliminated. Regulations backed with sufficient resources would support the early childhood workforce with decent pay and working conditions.

Ontario´s market system is failing children, families, early childhood educators and early years staff as it continues to download responsibility to individual operators, educators and families without proper systems of support. To capitalize on this opportunity for change, we must see strengthened provincial legislation alongside a significant increase in both federal and provincial resources guided by a national framework that lays the groundwork for quality ECEC as an entitlement for all Canada´s children. We must ensure that any legislative change moves us towards a universally accessible, publicly funded and managed ECEC system with decent work for early childhood educators and early years staff at the core.

Educators are key to providing high-quality experiences for children. But underfunding, poor oversight and the lack of decent work in licensed child care create challenging conditions. Far from being a legislative leader in promoting quality early learning and care, Ontario´s standards lag behind those of other Canadian jurisdictions. Now is the time to strengthen, not downgrade quality in Ontaro's child care legislation.

Download the full statement.

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Take Action For Child Care

3_steps.pngThe reopening of child care in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic has brought  many challenges and concerns for educators, families, parents, and child care allies. The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care hear these concerns and are working to advocate for the safe and effective reopening of child care in Ontario, while considering the needs of children, parents, families, and educators. 

Recently we spoke with over 1,000 parents and educators, to build cooperation between these two groups of natural allies. We trained hundreds of ECEs and parents to meet their MPPs, to share their experiences, and use their power to directly influence change-makers. We know this strategy is effective - as we saw with the campaign to save the Wage Enhancement Grant, your stories moved politicians to action. Lastly we rallied in the thousands, virtually and in-person, raising our collective voice so that the needs of educators, children, and families are amplified as the Province moves to reopen child care. 

There is still more to be done, and we need to continue to work together, our collective voice is louder with you - we are stronger together.

Read more
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Virtual Rally for Child Care-Friday June 12th

Ontario deserves better! ECEs, early years staff, and operators have been long ignored by the Province. During the closure period we asked for communication, transparency, and consultation in developing a reopening plan. We didn’t get it - despite the OCBCC and AECEO Report and Recommendations, From Reopening to Recovery.

Children, families, and educators deserve safe, quality programs when they reopen – and this takes funding and time. The Province’s 'reopening plan’ missed the mark. We demand and deserve better.

Thank you for joining the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, and your colleagues from across Ontario on Friday, June 12 at 11 am for a Virtual Rally for Child Care as we raised our collective voice and took collective action together.

Here is a link to the Virtual Rally video on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3021619907956397

And you can tell Premier Ford and Minister Lecce that the Ontario government is setting child care up to fail in reopening by signing on to the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care's open letter HERE.

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Ontario Government announces child care reopening

Today, the Government of Ontario announced the province-wide reopening of child care centres. With vague health and safety guidelines, no notice for staff and programs, and no promises of adequate funding to support child care programs to operate at lower capacity or with increased wages for staff, this is NOT the safe, sustainable plan for reopening called for in our report, From Reopening to Recovery. We will join together with early childhood educators, child care operators, and parents to hold the government accountable and advocate for what is needed for a safe and sustainable reopening and recovery - today, tomorrow and in the days to come. We will continue to share information and advocacy initiatives with you. We deserve better.

Read our recommendations

Send a letter to your elected representative

Update - the Ministry of Education has now posted an Operational Guidance document: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/child-care-re-opening-operational-guidance.pdf

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AECEO & YOU - We are stronger together

We have been working over the closure period to create opportunities for ECEs and early years staff to come together, for us to listen to your concerns and ideas and to advocate on your behalf. In our survey, we heard from almost 4,000 ECEs and early years staff. This informed our report From Reopening to Recovery, co-authored with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) which included 27 recommendations to government on what is necessary in order for Ontario's early years programs to be able to reopen, or operate, safely in the context of COVID-19. We continue to call on government to do better.

Today the Ontario government announced they will share more details on their plan for reopening childcare tomorrow, as they move into a regional Stage 2 opening. We are concerned. As we have seen through their "Stabilization Funding", the government has taken slow and insufficient action to support early years programs and ECEs and early years staff.

We are continuing to organize and advocate to make sure the needs of ECEs and early years staff and children are a priority, and that sufficient funding and supports are in place so that programs can survive and thrive through the Emergency Order period, and reopen only when it is safe and they are prepared to.

But - WE NEED YOUR HELP. Our collective voice is louder with you - we are stronger together.

Right now you can:
1. Read and share our report, co-authored by the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC), From Reopening to Recovery: https://www.aeceo.ca/from_reopening_to_recovery

2. Send a letter to you MPP and the Minister of Education supporting From Reopening to Recovery: https://www.childcareontario.org/child_care_needs_a_safe_re…

3. Invite parents in your network who are concerned about programs reopening to our Parent Call on June 9th at 7:30 pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/…/tZIsdO6hrD8pE9OtBxtJ06MgH4aTVKrI8…

4. Join us Wednesday, June 10 at 1:00pm to learn how to meet with your MPPs and get connected with others in your area: https://us02web.zoom.us/…/tZIscOisqTguHNc7iEprLFOhVH5u9iPW7…

5. If you can, consider becoming a member or donating to help us continue our work: https://www.aeceo.ca/membership

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From Reopening to Recovery

A Plan for Child Care Reopening in Ontario and Moving to a Publicly Funded System

On May 19th, the Ontario government announced that “a gradual reopening of child care is expected to begin when the province is Copy_of_cover_From_Reopening_to_Recovery.jpgready to transition to Stage 2 based on public health criteria”.  In response, and informed by sector consultation, public health guidelines and recommendations, and a scan of the best available evidence from other jurisdictions, the AECEO and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care have developed recommendations "From Reopening to Recovery: A plan for child care reopening in Ontario and moving to a publicly funded system" with the goal of ensuring: 

  • A safe reopening
  • Adequate funding and support for educators and programs; and
  • A strengthened child care system at the core of economic and social recovery.

Ensuring that these recommendations are enacted across Ontario will require concerted and determined community advocacy. We need every partner and ally to demand nothing less than a safe, supported reopening that protects children, families, educators, early years staff and programs.  

Please go HERE to send an email to your federal and provincial representatives supporting a safe reopening and recovery.

Executive Summary:

Child care centres across Ontario have been closed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This report sets out the steps needed to ensure the safe, healthy reopening of child care. To achieve this, we need adequate funding and support for educators and programs. With this support, a strengthened child care system could be the core of economic and social recovery. 

The challenge

Today, the Province has not put the necessary support in place. The early years and child care sector is unheard, unrecognized, underfunded and, therefore, unprepared. RECEs and early years staff want to return to work but are very concerned about what it will look like. Some of their most urgent concerns are: 

  • Being able to protect themselves while at work; 
  • Having the appropriate staff, resources, and support to implement new health and safety protocols in their program; and 
  • Their program’s ability to access supplies and implement new health and safety procedures. 

Recommendations

Based on our extensive consultation with the early years and child care sector this report presents 27 detailed recommendations to ensure a safe and healthy reopening and recovery. They provide in-depth advice to government on the need for transparency, health assurances, guidelines, access to space, testing, safety supplies and equipment, funding, employment conditions, communication, and training.

  • We call for meeting or exceeding current best practices in Emergency Child Care for reopening, including greatly reduced groups sizes and enhanced staff to child ratios, and full base funding for child care programs.
  • We estimate that this approach will mean tripling the child care budget. We need the federal and provincial government to work together to ensure that the necessary funding and policy is in place.

Next steps

We cannot stop at reopening. Early learning and child care programs must be a priority for both economic and social recovery:

  • The economic recession triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting women. Programs to support women’s employment must be at the heart of Canada’s plans for economic recovery. 
  • To properly support a generation of young children to recover from the trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic requires Canada to finally treat child care as a priority, rather than an afterthought. 

Our children and families – and the educators that support them – deserve no less.

Download the Full Report HERE

Download the Executive Summary HERE

From Reopening to Recovery Webinar Video

From Reopening to Recovery Webinar Presentation

Ontario Child Care Parents Webinar Video

Ontario Child Care Parents Webinar Presentation

Next steps in advocating for a safe plan for the ECE sector:

  • Webinar June 10th at 1 p.m. - How to meet your MPP: Click HERE to register

 

Press Release 

Toronto Star article on the report.

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Early Learning and Child Care at the Core

In partnership with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, we have outlined essential short and long term components for any plan for early learning and child care, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes short-term actions to stabilize the sector and protect educators and families. But our community, and our governments, must also be looking ahead to recovery post-pandemic. We need our governments to commit to and fund a long-term strategy that puts child care at the core of social and economic recovery. We need all levels of government to act.

Goals: Protect educators, families and programs. Put early learning and child care at the core of recovery.

Action 1: Provide emergency funding that ensures professional wages

Action 2: Consult the early learning and child care sector on a safe, responsible and transparent re-opening plan

Action 3: Provide substantial new funding for health and safety, staff training and supports, paid sick days, etc.

Action 4: Plan and expand the early learning and child care – child care for all!

Action 5: Base fund the child care system so that child care continues to be free for parents.

We are calling on the provincial and federal governments to ensure that the health, safety and well-being of educators and families is part of any re-opening plan, and to put child care at the core of social and economic recovery.

Click HERE to find out more and to send an email to your elected officials to ask for their support. 

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Ontario Child Care Webinar: Voices from emergency child care and next steps for advocacy.

In our first Child Care Operators’ Webinar we began a conversation about how the ECE sector is responding to COVID-19. We heard from three operators about how they have been negotiating the challenges and what they are proud of. We also heard from you about what we can do to support you and what your most pressing concerns are. With our partners the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Atkinson Centre, over 600 people joined us on May 14 for our second Webinar.

We are responding to your concerns and will be highlighting the experiences of ECEs and operators in emergency child care. We know there is much trepidation and uncertainty about what our programs will look like when they re-open. We don’t have all the answers for what is to come, but we can learn from those who are working through these challenges now. We will also continue our conversation about the role of advocacy. When we are working together our collective voice is strong and we hold power to make positive change for our sector. We need to ensure child care and early years programs are thoughtfully planned, properly resourced, and keep decent work and care at the core.

Panelists:

  • Jill Wilkins, RECE, Operations Link, Compass Early Learning and Care
  • Melissa Boekee, RECE, Compass Early Learning and Care
  • Marni Flaherty, RECE, CEO, Today’s Family
  • Monica Lysack, RECE, Professor, Sheridan College

Webinar Video

Resources

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Two New Advocacy Actions!

Today we have launched two new advocacy actions. We know that ECEs and early years staff have many concerns at this time and we are doing our best to address them all. These two actions respond to only two of the many important and critical issues we are working on.

Early Childhood Educators deserve $4 pandemic pay and decent work:

We wrote to Education Minister Stephen Lecce to express our deep concerns with the inconsistent and often very low wages of ECEs and child care workers, who are working across the province on the front-lines in emergency child care supporting children and families.

We demanded that the Ontario Government extend the $4 pandemic pay to apply to all staff in emergency child care and ensure a minimum wage of $25 an hour for all ECEs providing care in Ontario.

You can amplify our demands to immediately extend the $4 pandemic pay to Early Childhood Educators and child care workers working in emergency child care. Click HERE to send an email to Premier Ford, Education Minister Lecce and your local MPP.

Click HERE to read our letter to Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

Returning to Work: ECE and early years staff perspectives:

We understand this is a time of uncertainty, and many are worried about what our programs and profession will look like post-COVID. We are taking a solution-based approach to engaging with decision-makers and hearing from you will help us to raise your concerns and ideas directly to government. By filling out this survey you are helping the AECEO to identify the pressing concerns of RECEs and early years staff.

We invite you to fill out this survey and share your concerns, perspectives, and ideas with us.

Click HERE to access the survey. Survey closes May 18.

 

Thank you for advocating with us!

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Child Care Operators' Webinar-April 24, 2020

We know that the current context has left child care programs, operators, RECEs and early years staff in a state of uncertainty. We are hearing from operators seeking resources and answers as they make important decisions about how they support their staff and families and navigate new and changing economic support programs. We do not have all the answers, but we do have access to the best resource - our shared experiences.

Alongside our partners at the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and Atkinson Centre, we invited child care operators, supervisors, directors and board members to join us on April 24th as we brought together three operators from diverse settings for an interactive, facilitated discussion about how they are responding to the context, questions they are grappling with, and strategies they are using in making decisions. In our discussion we collectively identified outstanding questions and concerns and resources to support you through this time. Most importantly, we came together and shared our experiences. We are not alone, and we are stronger together.

Panel Moderator: Jennifer Kirkham

Panelists:

  • Sheila Olan-MacLean, CEO, Compass Early Learning and Child Care
  • Tracy Saarikoski, Executive Director, Discovery Early Learning & Care
  • Amy O'Neil, Director, Treetop Children's Centre

Webinar recording

You can engage in advocacy by:

  1. Endorsing Child Care Now's Plan to save child care
  2. Sending an email to your MPP demanding emergency sustainability funds for the child care sector. 
  3. Sending us resources we can share to the collective resources document - this is a living document we can continue to build together.
  4. Supporting the AECEO and OCBCC through membership, information sharing and amplifying our calls to action.
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Invitation: "Virtual Coffee and Conversation” with your local Community of Practice

The AECEO is continuing to support the collective voice of our sector. One way this is being done is through weekly meetings with our Community of PApril_21_and_22nd__2020.pngractice (CoPs) leaders, who share updates from their team and networks.

“In bringing together many roles such as supervisors, administrators, program teachers, graduate students and college faculty in the Ontario sector we have come to see each other’s points of view, identifying the many unanswered questions that have arisen with these uncertain times. 

We want you to know that we are collectively searching for any answers or supports that we can send your way. We are all in this together. To help us identify the ongoing issues and support each other, we invite you to come together for a “Virtual Coffee and Conversation” with your local CoPs so we can discuss your questions and concerns as we continue to navigate so many unknowns.”

“Don't be silent...we are listening. You are not invisible… we see you. You are not alone... we are stronger together” Nikki, CoP Lead North Bay

Please visit our CoP's facebook groups for more registration information.

Tuesday, April 21 - 11:00am - 12:00pm

Toronto & Halton: visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/540693746299024/ or email eypriseupto@gmail.com to register

Kitchener/Waterloo: visit https://www.facebook.com/EarlyYearsCoalitionWR/ or click here to register

Ottawa: visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/PPDWOttawa/ or email aeceo.ottawa@gmail.com to register

North Bay: visit https://www.facebook.com/aeceo.northbay/ or email aeceo.copnorthbay@gmail.com to register

Sudbury: visit https://www.facebook.com/AECEOSudbury/ or email efilby@aeceo.ca for registration

Wednesday, April 22 - 1:30pm-2:30pm

Thunder Bay: visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/1956174481327533/ or click here to register

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