In 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.