April, Jane and I will be going to the Standing Committee for Social Development today – Here is our point of view:
Who Are We?
Parents for Choice and Quality support the development and implementation of a high quality early learning and support system for Pre School aged children and their families on PEI.
The group, representing mothers, fathers, grandparents, child care centres, industry professionals and concerned citizens of PEI, has grown quickly out of concern related to recent government decisions that are impacting early childhood development.
One of our key goals is to ensure that the interests of parents and our children are paramount and that parents get the choice and the quality that they deserve.
We fear that the current debate – between owners and staff – is too limiting and does not help children or our province.
With so few children in the next generation, with so many of these few having learning, behaviour, food and health challenges, we know that our only chance of having enough competent, flexible and committed adults is to do the right thing between 0-3 years old. The research is well known and clear. By 3 our trajectory for life is largely set. By Grade 1, it is very hard to alter these trajectories. By grade 3 it is all but impossible.
The most leveraged place for us to intervene is in the Early Years.
We envision a system for Early Child Development that ranks in importance with the formal school system. Such a system would have to be universal. All children would have to be included. Such a system would draw on the well-established research and expertise in the field and on the new best practice in the nation in other provinces.
How to Get There
- Stop the rush and the reactive solutions – call a time out
- Acknowledge that Trust has to be rebuilt – put the interests of our children and our families first
- Draw on the expertise available in the field on and off the Island and build a policy landscape that can be used as a foundation for a proper consultation
- Design and launch a consultation that authentically interacts with Islanders
- Then develop an action plan