The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) is pleased to see the Government of Canada taking initiative on early learning and child care after a decade of inaction. Unfortunately, today’s announcement outlining their long-awaited early learning and child care framework does not go far enough to address the severe lack of affordable, accessible, high quality child care for Canadian families across the country. Equally important from the AECEO’s perspective, the framework does not mention, let alone set out clear goals or a plan, advancing the profession of early childhood educators who are the key to quality in early learning and child care programs.
“Ontario just released an ambitious plan to deliver universal child care for all children and families who need it and the Government of Canada has come to the table with a framework agreement that could be much stronger and the investment much more substantial” said Lyndsay Macdonald, Provincial Coordinator of the AECEO.
“The OECD benchmark on public spending for early childhood education and care is at least 1% of the GDP but the Government of Canada’s $7.5 billion investment over 11 years is around 0.02% of Canada’s GDP. For such a rich country, surely we can do better.” Furthermore, the bulk of this funding does not begin to flow until after the next federal election.
While the multilateral framework sets out the first step, the child care crisis across Canada remains at a tipping point. Without stable publically funded early learning and child care, with professionally paid early childhood educators, we cannot ensure that children get the best possible start in life. The AECEO will continue to work collaboratively with our members and sector partners to call for improvements to the framework.