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January 7, 2013 Director Updates:
Peel's Early Learning & Child Care Service System

Dear Community Partner,

As we say goodbye to 2012, I would like to take this time to thank you all for your continued hard work and dedication to Peel’s children and families and to wish you and your staff all the best for the New Year. 2012 was an exciting year for ELCC in Peel, but somehow it is hard to land on a term that aptly describes the kind of opportunities 2013 will bring for ELCC in Peel – “incredible” seems somewhat of an understatement given the unprecedented nature of the opportunities that lie ahead which include:

ELCC Service System Funding Announcements

2012 was a foundational year for building a stronger ELCC system in Peel, with the announcement of:

  • Regional Council’s decision to reinvest $12M to support the broader system
  • Three-year provincial funding to support transformation of school-based child care sites to serve younger age groups. Peel District School Board and Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board received a total of $5.9M.
  • One–time provincial transitional funding for additional special needs resources, fee and wage subsidies, and capital supports (including $1.3M in minor capital, capacity building and health and safety funding which will enable 119 child care centres and home child care agencies to either retrofit to serve younger age groups or maintain good state of infrastructure repair)

2013 promises to be even more exciting with the recent announcement that a new provincial funding formula for ELCC will result in an additional $28.5 million for ELCC in Peel. Peel’s allocation equates to 53 per cent increase in funding for our community and addresses the historical underfunding and growing need for ELCC services.

The new funding formula

  • is based on child population (0-12) and demographic changes that measure the demand for fee subsidy (e.g. low income levels) as well as other child care cost drivers (e.g. cost of living indicators)
  • includes a framework that maximizes service manager flexibility to meet local needs and help us build a child care system for tomorrow and well into the future

We look forward to working with our community partners to develop a service system plan that builds on the work of the Early Learning and Child Care Task Force and other initiatives currently underway. For more information, please see the attached staff report that will be considered by Regional Council on Jan. 10, 2013.

Special Needs Resourcing

We continue to move forward on the development of a special needs strategy that will leverage our collective resources to optimize special needs services for children and families. Regional staff have begun this work with a Core Team from funded Community Special Needs Resource Programs.

Next steps will involve collaboration with the Peel Early Learning Special Needs Advisory Committee and expanded participation from child care provider and other stakeholders. A consultant, Wendy Perry, has been engaged to help move this work forward and engage the broader community through such means as interviews, focus groups and surveys. Stay tuned for further details – your participation is important.

Raising the Bar in Peel Expands

Building on recommendations from the Early Learning and Child Care Task Force, Regional Council approved additional funds in its 2013 budget to help expand participation in Raising the Bar in Peel - a quality assurance and professional development initiative for child care providers that demonstrates its commitment exceeding provincial regulatory standards. All child care providers in Peel are encouraged to participate in Raising the Bar in Peel to further enhance best practices in our ELCC system.

In 2012, 125 early learning and child care programs participated in Raising the Bar in Peel. We would like to congratulate the 70 programs that are at the Gold, Gold Maintenance and Gold Evergreen levels as well as the 55 programs currently working on their Bronze and Silver levels.  

Our heartfelt thanks also goes out to our community partner, Child Development Resource Connection Peel (CDRCP), Mentoring Pairs in Child Care graduates and the many child care providers who serve on the Raising the Bar Advisory Committee or as Peer Reviewers. This program would not be possible without their passion and ongoing support.

For more information, please visit the Raising the Bar in Peel website or contact the program coordinator, Gayle Ballard at 905-507-9360 x330 or gayle@rtbpeel.ca.

Moving Forward

Our Service System Management team looks forward to working with each of you throughout 2013 to build a stronger early learning and child care system that supports our collective vision: “In Peel, all children will thrive”.

If you have any questions regarding this communiqué, please do not hesitate to contact Gunta Jurevics-Lawson, Manager of Early Learning Services (905-791 7800 ext 3809 / gunta.jurevics-lawson@peelregion.ca) or myself at the coordinates below.

Kind regards,

Joan Kaczmarski
Director, Service System Management Division
Human Services Department
Region of Peel
10 Peel Centre Dr., Suite B, 5th Floor
Brampton, ON L6T OE3
905 791 7800 Ext: 7242
Fax: 905 861 9079

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Revised: Tuesday May 21 2013


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