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QELN is concerned that the child care system is facing an impending crisis that will directly impact children, families and the community agencies that serve them. Significant and immediate action is necessary. Local solutions can only take us so far; what is needed now is a province wide approach to ensure the burden is not borne by families and children or service providers.
The paper puts forward immediate, short, mid-term and long term actions. These
are based on several critical assumptions including:
This purpose of this paper is to open a dialogue with the provincial government and to offer comprehensive solutions for stabilizing and transforming the ECEC (child care) system.
Child care in Ontario is based on policy and funding models dating back to the middle of the last century. As a result, ECEC policy and service provision in Ontario has fallen far behind the needs of a 21st century population, creating a crisis in child care in the immediate term and diminished capacity to meet family, community and societal needs in the longer term.
In 2010, full-day kindergarten was introduced by the Ontario government as a progressive step towards meeting 21st century challenges in education and child development. While the value of full day kindergarten is well accepted, successful implementation requires equal attention to its impact on an already shaky child care sector. To date, it has been layered on top of what Ontario's Special Advisor on Early Learning has called an "unsolved web of problems" (Pascal, 2009).
Child care in Ontario is now entering a period of unparalleled financial pressures. The following developments confirm that Ontario Child Care is at a critical point, requiring immediate and comprehensive government action:
CRRU's online documents database contains thousands of resources relevant to ECEC policy and practice in Canada and internationally. CRRU's website allows the user to quickly search or browse the database of documents.
Research, policy & practice materials include: scholarly research, policy studies and briefs, government and NGO reports. Child care in the news is an archive of news articles about ECEC in Canada and abroad.
Links to the full-text of materials are provided where publicly available; where access is restricted links are provided to abstracts, as well as purchase and subscription options.