Province consulting on child care
June 27, 2012
The Ministry has released a short document, Modernizing Child Care in Ontario, that includes an outline of a plan for child care for the next three years, and a request for advice from the child care community and parents.
Between July and September 2012, the Ministry of Education will hold consultations about the plan. Feedback can be provided by email to CCGE_modernization@ontario.ca or regular mail to:
Child Care Modernization
c/o Early Learning Division
24th floor, Mowat Block
900 Bay St.,
The questions in the paper focus on funding, licensing and standards
- How can the approach to child care funding be revised to enable more transparent and efficient allocations to municipal service system managers and First Nations?
- What elements should be considered when developing a new funding formula (e.g., demographics, demand, costs)?
- How can current funding be streamlined or consolidated to improve flexibility and efficiency?
- How can the Ministry of Education facilitate collaboration and joint planning among school boards, service system managers and child care operators so they can plan and manage this approach?
- What supporting policies are required to ensure the success of a schools-first child care policy (e.g., long-term planning on space for school-based operators, reasonable accommodation costs, facilities, and other shared space issues)?
- Where school-based space does not meet community needs, are there additional capital tools that could support community-based child care operators?
- Based on your experience and knowledge of existing research and evidence, how can provincial program guidelines support program quality?
- How can program quality be demonstrated and connected to the licensing process?
- What additional tools or professional development opportunities would be helpful to support ongoing quality improvement?
- How can we ensure that program guidelines meet the distinct needs of diverse communities?
- What components of the special needs resourcing program should be reviewed and streamlined (e.g., eligibility criteria, services provided, qualifications for resource consultants)?
- What resources about program quality could the government develop to help parents make choices about care?
Licensing and Standards
- How should standards be updated to improve health, safety and overall quality in child care?
- How can the government reduce duplication and overlap in requirements for licensed child care providers?
- How can the government more effectively harmonize standards across legislation as well as regulatory requirements in child care (e.g., numbers/ages of children in licensed vs. unlicensed home care, clarification of programs that do and do not require licences)?
- As the government looks to deliver on the commitment to provide on-site after-school programs for six-to-12-year-olds, should we consider a new licensing category for older children that builds on the strengths of a recreation program model (e.g., different program requirements for older children, participation in recreation-focused programs)?
- How could new licensing approaches support home- and centrebased care in smaller, rural and remote communities (e.g., permitting home-based providers to care for more children where there is more than one provider, providing greater flexibility for family or mixed age groupings and space configurations)?
- How can the government foster quality in informal home-based child care?
- How can risk assessments help the government use licensing resources more effectively, encourage compliance and reward high-performing child care operators?
- How can the government encourage quality and licensing compliance (e.g., administrative orders, administrative monetary penalties)?
- What tools can support program and administrative leadership in child care (e.g., for centre directors and staff, volunteer not-for-profit boards)?
- How can the government support the use of evaluative tools in licensed child care, including common registration and screening tools, as well as the Ontario Education Number?
- What information should be collected from operators annually in order to provide a regular cycle of public reporting on the child care system in Ontario (e.g., hours of operators, parent fees, staff compensation)?
People For Education Viewpoint:
While many of the questions raised in this document are vital, it is sad to see the province, once again, conducting a consultation over the summer months when many people are less engaged, less likely to be aware, and less driven to action.
But this is a vital discussion – so please let the province know what you think!