So want to say “for now” to all those answers from politicians and advocates like the AECEO and OCBCC for this … based on historical precedent of what happens when the government is responsible for the majority of funding I find it hard to trust promises like “ratios won’t increase” also do not see funding being distributed equitably to see improvement to wages across the board - large licensed centres are going to end up eating up the majority of funding because well they are the least financially viable model of childcare and have the highest overhead model and overtime easy to hypotheses that there will be less and less for the tiny amount of licensed home childcare that is currently is represented in the licensed model let alone if the “unregulated sector” starts to try to migrate over placing more demand on said funding that’s been allotted which is based on the currently model that only meets 25% of the actual childcare used in Ontario.
Again based on precedents of history - hate to keep saying it but look at Quebec …. despite the sector being unionized for 25 years now their home childcare sector, under this same model being represented here, gets the scattered crumbs that are leftover and preCovid had started roaring strikes because 25 years in and home childcare was still making LESS than minimum wage because they were getting away with paying them daily rates vs hourly wages and the length of the days just kept increasing as parents worked longer hours and had longer commutes you know to help pay for these programs … and this is despite the reality that home childcare has the least amount of overhead, provides the lowest ratios/group sizes for children and the access to a responsive attentive primary caregiver throughout their early years journey that all the brain and trauma informed research shows is vital to success in the early years.
Currently licensed programs cannot properly staff programs NOW where are they gonna get all these new staff from to open up new spaces or to be home coordinators for agencies?
How quickly are we gonna see more and more centres who currently only hire ECE because they believe that’s what high quality program should be having to resort to hiring unqualified staff a because of shortage and b because they can pay them LESS and the burden of the pressure from the government not funding enough in wages to keep up that practice - which is gonna put more responsibility on the ONE RECE required per group because with the CECE and protected practice laws the non qualified staff are not SUPPOSED to be doing program planning, discussing development with parents and array of other “only a RECE” can do
As always people get hyped about the sound bytes and then are greatly disappointed by what actually rolls out!
FDK is almost 20 years in between the pilots and than the full roll out is STILL underfunded and looks NOTHING like what was promised
Based on conversations with peers I it is likely that majority of home childcare providers will WAIT and see what actually rolls out before being concerned about this … I am willing to guess that any families going on wait lists NOW for this new program will likely have children in university before they actually opening up spaces for them!
I would also bet money that the majority of these 86,000 spaces being promised of which 15,000 are already been already created in 2019 and counted in this promise will be for SCHOOL AGE children and not the 0-4 age group which they do NOT tend to open up too many of at a time in comparison! School age care is the ONLY care that can actually balance an operational budget because their ratios are so much higher than current infant and toddler or even preschool programs which is why programs choose to focus on those age groups with school age and preschool spaces being in abundance and toddler and infant spaces in great demand in the licensed sector!
And I have to say it once again if parents cannot access this 'social support' $10/day program to let a parent stay home and DIY their own childcare or get their nanny, extended family member or neighborhood home childcare costs covered via the program too than it’s NOT gonna fit the definition of ‘universal’. At best based on the current landscape it is going to be a very expensive investment that is only reaching 25% of the children in Ontario and that just does not seem like a EQUITABLE investment in the early years or respecting CHOICE for Ontario families!
Can’t help but be concerned about the future generations that are gonna come up through this model specially when again the research that shows that Quebec’s long term studies on the actual social/emotional and mental health outcomes for their program users has been alarmingly poor So sure the program got more parents into the workforce cause both can work but at what TRUE COST to children and families living there cause there’s more valuable things in life than lost INCOME.
Hug your little ones tight and if you believe in a higher power pray that today's announcement about Ontario joining the Federal government's $10/day platform turns out to actually be beneficial to the CHILDREN it is meant to serve as building blocks for their life long learning path!
For the first time in two years I ironically now have something to be grateful for with the pandemic having closed my own early learning program and my health having forced me to retire from practicing early childhood education for the time being - I can advocate from the sidelines without the stress of having to live through this uncertainty of roll out first hand!
Changes in childcare have never run smoothly as they rolled out and sadly far too often caused more stress and work for those on the front line than benefiting them!
Live, Laugh, Love
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