Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pascal's impact

The Brantford Expositor has featured some interesting commentary on the evolving impact of the 'With Our Best Future in Mind,' report by early learning adviser Dr. Charles Pascal. First came community editorial board member David Dean's column, followed by a letter to the editor in response.
Dean wrote:
There are serious implications for operators and employees of private daycare programs. Operators have made significant investments in facilities and operations in response to regulatory requirements. They offer a valuable service for parents and provide youngsters with a positive and nurturing experience. They know that if they don't, the parents can and will take their kids elsewhere. Try this in your local elementary, separate or public school! Current employees in private daycare will be hoping that such a plan will ultimately lead to improved salaries and benefits as well as greater respect from the "established" education community. I have never understood the huge discrepancy in salary between E. C. E. teachers and their counterparts in kindergarten, grade 6 or grade 12 for that matter. This needs to change and should not depend on the workplace being unionized. Work of equal value should be compensated more or less equally. Few with any experience of working with children will question the value of a good E. C. E. teacher.
George Hatton's response was to say he found the column enlightening, and used it to comment on the recent solution for a Brantford Catholic school principal whose transfer was turned into a desk job.
This week, in my coverage area, the County of Oxford will likely kill the childcare component of a much-discussed library project in the Village of Tavistock -- which sits between Woodstock and Stratford. Combined with a decreasing interest in new childcare spaces in the village, the Pascal report is cited as the reason for asking council to eliminate the childcare spaces from the project.
When I've called or asked, the biggest answer I keep hearing to the impact of these recommendations is that no one knows for sure. No one in the childcare sector knows what the recommendations' implementation means for their future. Few in the municipal sector have come out stating what the recommendation for their role in this proposed new early learning world will be.