Bill 242, an Act to amend the Education Act and certain other Acts in relation to early childhood educators, junior kindergarten and kindergarten, extended day programs and certain other matters has now gone through first and second reading at the Provincial legislature. Bill 242 can be viewed online at http://www.ontla.on.ca/bills/bills-files/39_Parliament/Session1/b242.pdf.
There will be an opportunity to make oral presentations to the Standing Committee on Social Policy on the legislation on March 22, 2010 and March 23, 2010. To make a presentation, contact the Committee Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on March 17, 2010. You can email your request to:
Kate Ratinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org
It is also possible to make a written presentation to the committee. To comment in writing, make your submission to the Committee Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on March 23, 2010. The address is:
Room 1405, Whitney Block
Queen's Park, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2
Bill 242 is the legislation that moves the implementation of full day early learning forward. There is a lot that is positive in the legislation including the expectation that certified teachers and registered early childhood educators will work collaboratively to deliver the full day early learning program. This legislation also introduces the concept of universal access to full day early learning for children who are 4 and 5.
However, for the licensed child care sector, the legislation also raises a number of significant concerns, the most important of which is that it states that school boards and school boards alone must deliver the fee for service extended day component of the early learning program. In other words, schools will not be permitted to collaborate with existing community agencies to deliver the before and after school portion of the day.
The legislation also gives the Boards the right to deliver the extended day component on PD days, school holidays and throughout the summer. They may also provide the fee for service extended day component for children older than 4 and 5.
This has significant implications for the on-going viability of many licensed child care programs. It is also a blow to what many had hoped would be a collaborative, program model wherein schools and child care centres would work together to deliver an integrated curriculum in the extended day program that would support and build upon the full day early learning program.
Consider taking this opportunity to have your voice heard.