Monday, March 22, 2010

YMCAs speak out on ELP

I had been wondering how long it might take this association to speak up on full-day kindergarten's implementation and its impact on both regular childcare services as well as existing before- and after-school care programs. The YMCA is the largest provider of childcare services in Canada and Ontario.
I received an e-mail from the YMCA of Western Ontario (think London and region) on the pending implementation of full-day kindergarten. (Full disclosure: I work part-time as a lifeguard/instructor and youth program employee at the YMCA of Woodstock, which is a branch of the YMCA of Western Ontario) I imagine the messaging in the e-mail from YMCA WO CEO Shaun Elliott is similar to that issued by YMCAs in other communities across Ontario.
From the e-mail:
YMCAs in Ontario support the vision for full day learning for four and five year olds, says Shaun Elliott, CEO, YMCA of Western Ontario.
 “From both a developmental and educational perspective, this is sound public policy. Our concern is that Bill 242 goes far beyond the government’s stated objectives and will have the unintended effect of de-stabilizing Ontario’s overall licensed child care system. Ultimately, parents will be left with fewer options and higher costs."
The YMCA’s concerns centre on Bill 242’s requirement that school boards directly operate extended day programs (before and after school hours) for children enrolled in junior and senior kindergarten. The Bill specifically prohibits school boards from partnering with local not-for-profit providers to offer those extended day programs.
YMCAs want the Bill amended to allow school boards the option of entering into or continuing partnerships with community providers like the YMCA. “We are already partners with schools, the model is working and it’s cost effective,” Elliott says. “We can help the Ontario government achieve its vision for ensuring our children have the best quality education and care.”
The message was in response to hearings on Bill 242, which were held earlier today in Toronto. Elliott spoke on behalf of all Ontario YMCAs along with staff members from the YMCA of Greater Toronto. There is an additional day of hearings scheduled for Tuesday.
The Y's main concerns appear to be that the ministry's mandated program structure doesn't allow for existing arrangements with community partners already offering before- and after-school care for all children to to continue for the kids registered in full-day kindergarten. So either the community partner walks away, or it runs a parallel program to the one the board offers in a duplication of some service and effort.
The other point isn't surprising either— with school boards hiring more early childhood educators (ECEs), they're going to be pressured to be represented by an existing employee union, and also to be paid at a rate equivalent to other board support staff member positions. In many cases, that rate ceiling is higher than what these accredited, professionally certified ECEs (they do have their own college) are earning as employees of not-for-profits such as the Y.
There was a virtual smorgasbord of other speakers Monday, and as interesting of an assortment Tuesday. If time allows in the coming days once the Hansard is posted, I'll throw up some links and some additional thoughts.


RetDir said...

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association presented today, and while supportive of the program echoed many of the Y's concerns - they want the ability to continue to partner with community organizations for the before and after programs, and for those during the holidays, and are very concerned about the impact that removing 4 and 5 year olds from daycare will have on the financial viability of daycares. They are also recognizing that the program is seriously underfunded once you take into account the real salaries of ECEs, and are concerned that the cost of before and after care will make the fees unaffordable.

Anonymous said...

I've written here before that the ELP in many communities like mine sets itself up to be in direct competition with other daycare and after-school program providers like the Y, municipal daycares library after-school programs who all for the most part have been working together well, respecting each other's turf.

What's ridiculous to me is that my tax dollars are paying for all of those plus now the ELP the schools are touting.

I predict again that this will die a slow death because of the stress it puts on communities and their established partnerships with all of their stakeholders in not just childcare but recreation programs also.

(I too worked at the Y in Ottawa, and in Mississauga)

Anonymous said...

Looks like our children have become a commodity to sell or trade like a barrel of oil or a beg of rice.
How sad.

Anonymous said...

What a stupid comment Anon. How about explaining how ER and CC's comments lead you to that nonsensical conclusion?

Is there something you don't understand about the taxpayer having their pockets picked by several hands at the same time?

Anonymous said...

Let me explain : It wasnt any of the comment posted in this page that led me to that conclusion,my remark was based on a articled I read recently titled "The battle for Ontario's children.
Exrpets:Student-based funding has left school boards to balance good PR with poaching from rivals.

Further: The YMCA's and the Ontario Child Care Federation had all the time they needed to complain about full day kindergarten,they didnt because the Charles Pascal report suggested to have kindergarten program delivered outside the school..needless to say,YMCA was one of the few privileged organizzation who benefitted the most from the Best Start funding.Hundreds of new spaces were created within YMCA...which,for your information,is North America's biggest child care provider.

Furthermore: I havent seen CUPE or school boards publicly criticizing the closure of community based child care providers.

I am going to stop here for now and I live a few links for you to check.
Hopefuly you will finally understand what's behind the big push for "Early Education".
Take care.

Ontario Catholic Education and the Corporate Sector.A Report Submitted to the Institute for Catholic Education by Philip G. Hill-1997,Institute for Catholic Education

and another one
"Selling full day kindergarten" to municipalities and school boards. November, 2005.
The Unhurried Day: Learning and Caring Seamlessly. SYMPOSIUM REPORT.

and another one
September 28, 2005-A Priority for Sustained Economic Growth and Equity
World Bank Preston Auditorium Washington, DC.
"Canada's competitive edge in the looming economic showdown with China and India must be honed soon after its toddlers leave the crib.

and another one
February, 14, 2008.Excerpts:

Dr Mustard:"When you achieve fame for something you were never trained in, it is amazing what your contacts are.

I have been working for the World Bank and the bank for Latin America...

Anonymous said...


You can call up any and all the links you wish and call it what you will, but the fact of the matter is that in some parts of this province where declining enrollment exists and is expected to exist well into the near future and there are fewer children for competing services(and I include public education into this mix) there will be competition for those children.

When the move to put a price on children as in per pupil funding funds the child and service delivery is dependent on numbers of children because those numbers in this province = money per student, perhaps your choice of commodity isn't too far off.

Remind me of what it's called in the world of business when the customers leave and the company heads continue to reap those benefits? Bankruptcy ring a bell?

"Investment" is the going term for education sectors isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Well my friend,you have all the right to think what you want,and if you refuse to bee informed that is your choise.
I am not going to waste my time trying to re-program you.

You offer theories,yours,I went further and supported my remark with documents.Case is a nice day.
So long .

Anonymous said...

Anon. 14:00 - I can't speak for ER but I "bee" informed.

There is only one taxpayer. When the discussion nearly always ends up at the money equation and the money follows the child, when the child is money.

No money for recreation, education, social services, etc.etc.etc.

The Fuzzy-Math Philosophy that suggests that it costs more to educate fewer children is not sustainable. Not in Ontario and not anywhere else.

I think ER pretty much nailed this.