The public hearings on 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 – are now over. There appeared to be fairly strong support for the introduction of full day early learning. There was less unanimity on the issue of who should provide the extended day component of the soon to be implemented program. Some speakers were supportive of the proposed model, where boards of education will deliver the entire program. However, many groups urged the Committee to amend the proposed legislation to allow for partnerships between community based not- for -profit agencies and boards of education to deliver before and after school programs as well as programs for PD days, school holidays and over the summer break.
On April 1, 2010, an editorial in the Hamilton Spectator made the case for a collaborative model in those communities where these types of partnerships currently exist and are working well.
On Monday, April 12, 2010, a committee of Parliament will review Bill 242 on a clause by clause basis. At the same time, committee members, who represent each of the three parties in the Ontario Legislature, will consider a number of amendments to the proposed Act. These include an amendment that school boards be allowed to enter into partnerships to deliver the extended day component of full day early learning. In other words, existing community partnerships between the not-for-profit child care sector and schools would continue.
Stayed tuned for further details as they become available.