June 9, 2020
Re: Compass ELC’s response to Doug Ford child care reopening announcement
Following the announcement by the Conservative Provincial Government this afternoon, we wish to provide our own statement. While the announcement may have seemed like a good thing for child care, unfortunately this is far from the truth.
Child care operators such as Compass Early Learning & Care were provided with this news during the press conference, and 2 days’ notice is far less than we would need to re-open our programs while ensuring safety for staff and children.
We have partnered with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child and the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario to produce an excellent roadmap: From Reopening to Recovery A Plan for Child Care Reopening in Ontario and Moving to a Publicly Funded System
(https://www.aeceo.ca/from_reopening_to_recovery), however the government has decided to make the decision to reopen with very little notice, a lack of consultation by experts, and without addressing a retroactive funding decision that has left child care organizations across the province in a deficit position. As a not-for-profit organization, this plan leaves us in a precarious situation.
Due to a lack of stable funding and a comprehensive plan for reopening, we are unable to open at this time. Our Board and senior leadership team will be meeting in the next few days to develop plans that will prioritize the health and safety of the children and staff in our programs across the five regions that we work in as we prepare for a safe reopening.
As always, the wellbeing of children is foremost in our minds, and when we open, we will be providing safe, caring, nurturing, joyful places. As in our emergency child care programs, we will continue to follow health and safety protocols while providing welcoming environments where children’s laughter and learning are present throughout the day.