Never actually saw the original letter or advertisement inviting people to participate in the PEI consultation meetings regarding the Child Care Facilities Act and Regulations?
Well here they are (see below). Note the date on the letter. Not much advance warning given regarding the meetings for busy ECE’s, parents or interested community members. Also, no information was provided about what the proposed changes were or the actual consultation process. Considering that the Department is “in the process of drafting new legislation” it might have been helpful to share what the actual draft legislation was. As we now know, the main proposed change has to do with limiting the number of new child care spaces to be created on PEI.
I, like many others, did not make any of these meetings – due to the short notice. I wonder how people actually did? Did you? In any case, it does seem that the dialogue has now moved to a new level. The dialogue is happening online, in the media, within the Government, in the child care communities, among parents and with interested citizens. This is good…people are finally aware of what is happening and there is discussion truly happening. As Rob notes, there are now many members on the Facebook Group regarding this issue and it is growing by the hour…this evening it has increased to 108 members. I wonder if this is more people than attended the original consultation meetings?
It is important to note that in a recent Press Release
…the Minister said that it would be premature to comment on the status of the legislation until government receives further input. “Consultations will proceed to completion and another public consultation meeting is scheduled for February 27 to allow this important discussion to continue,” said Currie.
I am thankful that the Minister has agreed to extend the process and provide additional opportunity for dialogue. Hopefully more people will be able to attend the upcoming meeting (Feb 27 – The meeting will be from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express on Trans Canada Highway in Charlottetown). It is important that the conversation continues and that it becomes broader in scope. I do hope that Department staff recognize this. It is no longer appropriate to just discuss the issue of limiting new licenses. Let’s talk about quality, staff child ratios, how licenses are issued, staff qualifications, how qualifications are assessed, the role of the PEI Child Care Facilities Board, funding to enhance quality and support operations and much, much more. There is much room for improvement and this can only really occur through a proper consultation process.
Plan to be there! This issue is very important to the future of PEI’s children and families.
Here is a copy of the original meeting letter.
Also, here is a copy of the original ad that ran in the paper.