Early learning and child care in Ontario has undergone substantial changes in the last several years. Child care is now part of the Ministry of Education. There is full-day kindergarten for 4 and 5 year olds as part of the public school system. We have new legislation governing child care, The Child Care and Early Years Act, and new regulations in 2016. We now have a provincial pedagogical framework How Does Learning Happen? Most recently, the Ontario government announced the creation of a new cabinet position, an Associate Minister of Education (Early Years and Child Care) to oversee the government’s work in this area. Through all of this change, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care works to inform and engage the early learning and child care community and to amplify the voices of our community to call for a comprehensive early learning and care system. This Guide is part of that work.
Through this new 2016 edition, we aim to provide ECE students and professionals with a thorough overview of the current state of early learning and child care in Ontario including legislation and regulation, financing, curriculum and pedagogy, as well exploring issues of diversity, children’s rights, advocacy and the role of the professional. We also acknowledge that this one guide cannot do it all; throughout the document we encourage readers to go in-depth and read further reports, books and policy documents that can help inform your practice.
We hope for this Guide to be a living document and request that readers write to us to let us know: what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what they’d like to see in future editions.