The success of all day kindergarten in Ontario appears to be undermining funding for early childcare programs for children aged 0-3. Daycare in the province is so critically underfunded that in Toronto, 21,000 parents are waiting for daycare subsidies and those with the means to pay in full are still faced with year long waitlists. READ MORE
Hoping to call international attention to the child poverty in Canada, the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC joined other Canadian advocacy groups and made presentations to the UN working group on Convention in the Rights of the Child. The organization is focusing much of their work on child poverty and the lack of READ MORE
Finland’s education system was reformed in the 1980’s with a singular goal in mind, to provide all students regardless of economic or social background or geographic with the opportunity to learn. Schools provide meals, healthcare, guidance and counseling. Despite requiring far less homework than in other countries and despite having a large focus on play, READ MORE
A recent announcement that all city boards including school boards will be facing budget cuts of ten percent came as a surprise to many Toronto school boards. Two of the city’s largest boards had just met with the Mayor’s office to discuss coordination of services and cost saving measures days before the cuts were announced READ MORE
The introduction of all day kindergarten is causing some tension for parents and teachers alike. Although many parents and teachers agree the program will help youngsters with reading and arithmetic they feel the introduction of the program is rushed and poorly funded. The program is meant to address gaps in early childhood education and care, READ MORE
Vancouver Sun journalist Peter McMartin suggests that following the Edmonton model of diversifying schools and offering more choice may help save Vancouver’s public schools. Read the article in the Vancouver Sun .
Two BC municipalities are leading the way when it comes to children and families. Both New Westminster and the City of Surrey are developing strategies to promote the well-being of children in their communities. To read about Surrey’s initiatives, click here . To read about New Westminster’s Children’s Charter click here .
A murder in a neighbourhood often lowers the IQ scores of children within a 10 block radius. Although this dip in IQ seems to go back to normal after 10 days, the post-traumatic stress of children who live in violent crime-ridden neighbourhoods accounts for lower IQ scores and poorer academic performance. Read the full story READ MORE
The Frontier Centre has recently raved about the values of Alberta’s primarily commercial-based childcare system, while contrasting it against Manitoba’s and Saskatchewan’s not-for-profit systems. Some have criticized this judgement, arguing that commercial systems are discriminatory and government funding should be preferentially provided to not-for-profit systems. Read the full article at the CCPA .
Both the N.D.P. and B.C. Liberal parties have failed to address key issues in early childhood education and childcare, and their potential link to childhood poverty. B.C. ranks last in Canada in a measure of children’s economic health, and is inherently tied to inadequate and expensive childcare. Read the full article at The Tyee .
This issue of Our Schools/Our Selves examines childcare and early childhood development as the multifaceted and diverse topic that it is. It includes contributions from top Canadian researchers, writers and activits and provides insight on how communities can best care for children and families. Find more information at CCPA .
A recent study conducted by the Univeristy of British Columbia found an alarming link between child poverty and poor academic performance. Such findings further highlight B.C.’s high child poverty rates. Read the full story in The Tyee .
Despite having a strong economy for the last decade, British Columbia has the highest poverty rates in the country. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) has laid out a Poverty Reduction Plan that would reduce poverty in the province by one third after four years and eliminate street homelessness within 5 years. The plan calls for action in 7 key READ MORE
As children head back to school today, many BC parents are scrambling to make arrangements for their after school care. A lack of funding, space and providers has left many parents with little choice but to be available at 3pm to pick their children up from school. Read more here.
An interesting study released by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University shows that high quality, discover/play-oriented pre-school programs lead to a 44% improvement in math skills, an 85% improvement in print awareness and knowledge of letter-sound associations, and gains in vocabulary that were 31% greater than children who did not attend.