Media Advisory - Parents concerned full early learning in jeopardy

Warnings against cherry-picking from Pascal Plan unheeded, early learning implementation facing difficulties

TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ - Ontario is on the verge of backing down on its promise to provide seamless, full-day, full-year programs for 4 and 5 year olds, a key component of the blueprint for early learning outlined in the report from Dr. Charles Pascal, the Premier's Advisor on Early Learning.

Child care providers, reacting to a lack of information about, or movement on, the other components of the Pascal Plan, have been lobbying the province to include provisions for school boards to contract out child care services. Annie Kidder, Executive Director of the parent-led organization, People for Education understands the concerns of child-care providers, but warns against dismantling the plan before it has a chance to get off the ground.

"Promoting a smorgasbord of programs, operators and providers is the exact opposite of Pascal's vision," says Kidder. "It is vital that the vision include a seamless, accessible set of programs for children from birth to age 12. The province should have had all of the pieces in place before it moved forward. It didn't. But now is not the time to back down and split children's days between multiple programs, staff and operators. The benefits of strong, integrated programs for children are well-documented. They are wanted by parents and they will provide all of Ontario's children with the strong foundation they need to succeed - in school and in life."

Zeenat Janmohamed, Faculty Member, School of Early Childhood at George Brown College fully supports the Pascal report to the premier and recommends that the Province stay the course and not get side tracked away from what is best for children, families and educators.

Kidder and Janmohamed will be at a Queen's Park media conference tomorrow at 12 noon to remind the Premier of the full vision, and call on him to honour it.

    WHO:      Annie Kidder, People for Education and Zeenat Janmohamed,
              Faculty Member, Early Childhood Department at George Brown

    WHAT:     Media Conference

    WHERE:    Queen's Park Media Studio

    WHEN:     Thursday, April 1, 12:00 noon


For further information: For further information: Annie Kidder, Executive Director, People for Education, (416) 534-0100; Zeenat Janmohamed, Faculty Member at the School of Early Childhood, George Brown College, (416) 949-5217

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