Thanks to the Minister who is listening and who has extended the discussion to Feb 27 and to a time when people could attend.
So now we have some more time let’s see if we can expand the conversation beyond the proposed solution – to limit the growth of spaces in the hope that this will increase quality.
What would Quality be? Is is about having clean bathrooms? Is it about having qualified staff? Is it about the space and the furniture? Of course it is but let’s ask ourselves what its all for – let’s not get stuck only with the process.
What are the Outcomes that we all need to define Quality? Do the current reg focus on process and miss having an aim? Should not our Child Care Centres drive a result?
What kind of result do we want? It is clear now that THE OPPORTUNITY for children to be set on a trajectory for life is set between the ages of 0-6. This period of time determines the adult. More on this later. So surely quality means that each child & their parents are given the best environment possible that will optimize their development.
Quality is about setting the conditions for children to become their best at the time when the trajectories of their lives are set. How they learn – if they can learn is set then. How they behave and see the world is set. Their relationship to food and addiction is set then.
So are we in the baby sitting business or in the human development business? The OECD has an opinion about how we are doing when it reviewed PEI’s Child Care & those of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and BC in 2004. (See article at the bottom of this post)
- Canada’s child care system is a fragmented, money wasting patchwork of programs that provides babysitting for working parents but disregards a growing body of global research that shows educating preschool minds provides lifelong dividends there needs to be some sort of policy agreement about the services for young children to give them as high a quality as possible.
- While they came across some child care centres that were top notch, many other centres were found wanting with quality depending on the calibre of the child care director
- In many centres they found barren, poorly lit rooms with an abundance of plastic toys and games that were of doubtful learning quality – play grounds were lacking – over protective child care workers were frequently forcing their charges to sit down and not move which runs counter to children’s natural instincts to be active
In my next posts – I will say a bit more about Quality and the things that we know about our kids at this age and that the stakes we face. Here is the PDF from the Globe with more on the OECD report.