Honorable Mary Polak, Minister of Children and Family Development and Minister responsible for Child Care
cc. local media, local early care and learning programs, local school division partners, kindergarten teachers, provincial partners
On behalf of the West Kootenay child care programs including family child care homes I am writing about the absence of Regulated Child Care in the Government of BC advertisements directed at parents: Helping you prepare your children for tomorrow.
As the Minister responsible for Child Care you must be as dismayed as we are that there is no reference, in these government sponsored advertisements, to Regulated Child Care alongside Ready Set Learn, Strong Start and Full Day Kindergarten identified as Early Learning Programs in the print and radio advertisements. In our opinion, this is a serious oversight.
In British Columbia, approximately 145,000 children ages 0-5 have mothers in the paid labour force (2007), 60,000 of these children receive early learning and care in quality, regulated child care spaces (2007/08) by trained early childhood educators.
Quality aspects of appropriate training, child/staff ratios and group size are in place to best ensure developmentally appropriate practice. All aspects of children’s development are addressed through a play based curriculum guided by the B.C. Early Learning Framework. Children are receiving care and education at the earliest of ages which is most critical to success in school.
We look forward to future advertising which includes a recognition that Regulated Child Care is an integral part of a comprehensive strategy to meet the needs of all families, including those parents who balance caring and earning.
What is early learning? “Early learning refers to the emerging and expanding of young children’s physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and creative capacities” (British Columbia Early Learning Framework, pg.2)
THIS IS HAPPENING IN OUR CHILD CARE SYSTEM EVERY DAY
Thank you for consideration of our expressed concern.
On behalf of children, parents, early childhood educators and family child care providers in the West Kootenay
Dorothy Kaytor, Regional Early Years Coordinator
Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-operative