The BC government is conducting a secretive so-called
consultation on early learningbut parents are not
The issue is full day schooling for ages 3-5.
Online consultation at: www.bced.gov.bc.ca/ecla/
There is a July 18 deadline.
Such a major policy initiative requires full, open debate
disclosure, not a hard-to-find online consultation
selected "stakeholders." A search reveals no press
release. Kids First
was not told of it, even though we wrote Minister Bond
asking to be
If they think the public wants this, why not do a poll and
"Do you want billions more in tax funds going to put
little children in
'underutilized' schools, or do you want these
resources to go to parents
to help you provide for your young children's care and
Kids First Parent Association found out about this online
by accident, even though we wrote the Minister of Education
asking how we could be involved. The Ministry did not
request in their response.
The "consultation paper" is supposed to discuss the
"feasibility" of this
scheme, but does not even address the costs. These could be
over $2 billion given that there are about 120,000 children 3-5, and
it costs far
moreeven triplethe approx $7,000 we spend per
child in Gr 1-12.
For example: Sweden spends over $20,000 per a full time
yet even with this amount the government finds inadequate
care and learning there.
Kids First is concerned that such an initiative would be
children and bleed resources from existing care and
learning provided by
parents and others free or for fee. Care and learning are
the evidence does not show that school all day for little
them. Institutional care settings have been consistently
shown to cause
elevated stress (cortisol), adverse health, and adverse
outcomes. Schools have no monopoly on learning.
"Why is the Minister of Education afraid to tell
parents about this
so-called consultation? Why not a poll? They must be aware
meaningful poll would show that parents don't want
their tax dollars
drained into a system that will suit few of us and cost
Support early learning and care by funding parents so we
can provide or
pay for services we freely choose without discrimination.
evidence does not support this, and in fact it is quite clear
children suffer increased emotional, behavioural and health
more time they spend in institutional settings," says
President, Helen Ward of Burnaby BC.
Ward is a mother of a child targeted by this proposal.
The Ministry of Education contact is Susan Kennedy, Executive Director of the Early Childhood Learning Agency in the Ministry of Education 250-356-8322.