Friday, July 2, 2010

Is anyone doing before- and after-school care?

I've been left pondering whether there is a school board in Ontario that is offering the complete full-day kindergarten program as it was originally intended by the Ministry of Education. That is, a before-school component staffed by a school-board early childhood educator (ECE), a core component led by ECE and a kindergarten teacher, and an after-school component staffed by an ECE.
Many boards, from what I've been able to briefly glean, looked at the cost of having each group of kindergarteners needing two ECEs, a full-time teacher and possibly program assistants and balked. Not at the added cost of the extra 0.5 FTE teacher -- which is covered by the full-day kindergarten grant -- or the core-day component of ECE salaries. Rather at the extended-day component of the ECEs and any other staff members. Most boards quickly realized there would be no way their other employee groups would let them pay ECEs the wages many make in private, non-profit, for-profit or municipal childcare. The bump in ECE wages to a more "school board" rate meant the boards couldn't offer a cost-recovery extended-day component without charging higher fees than what parents already access at existing programs -- in schools or at other centres.
So does anyone have a conclusive list showing which boards have bailed out of the extended-day in whole or in part as allowed in the regulation? One of the blogs I look at from time to time has some details, but not a comprehensive list. Perhaps a summer project for someone.


Anonymous said...

Upper Grand DSB has decided not to offer it.

Apparently surveys were done that showed the demand wasn't there.

The cost for both pre- and post-schooldy care would have been $27/day and that put it higher than various other options.

I suspect, given school board salary levels, it'd be very difficult to compete on a cost basis. Thats not really meant to be a shot a the boards but they do tend to pay relatively higher salaries than most of the competition.

I wonder if Dalton will try something in the way of a subsidy to make them more competitive...

Education Reporter said...

Anon 13 July 22:25

Don't forget the regulation isn't just about parental interest. Boards can also bow out in certain circumstances where third parties already provide a before- and after-school program-- with the stipulation those providers now include the four- and five-year olds if they didn't do that before.

With the two-year reprieve provided by the regulation, it'll be interesting to see if the addition of the comparatively smaller number of schools in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 cohorts makes a difference in being able to offer the extended-day components at a competitive cost.

Or, perhaps, over the next two years school boards and their community partners can demonstrate how effectively the mish-mashed program actually works.


Anonymous said...

I think that there are some extended day costing elements that came from the province in their 'template' that also need to be addressed, in particular the provincially fixes cost for 'special education', see the attached link from the UGDSB website

The $4.85 'Provincially determined Special Education fee' should be raising some eyebrows! One has to wonder why special eduction costs are being pushed into the private consumer domain?
If a family in the general community requires child care for a child with special needs they are able to secure assistance and support from the municipality [through the Ministry of Child and Youth]. When a child with special needs receives full public support through the Min of Ed when they are enrolled in day school.
But what is the province trying to do when they are asking all parents of children who enrol in a School Board Extended Day program to pay a fixed special education daily per diem? Does this mean that we now will be able to only provide special ed support when the Extended Day programs can affod to do this, why is this in the private domain?
Guelph Gal