LCCN works collaboratively with the community to draft responses to proposed regulatory recommendations to ensure the voices of London & Middlesex are heard at all levels of government. Collectively, we express the ongoing needs of our early learning community to ensure our voices are heard so high quality child care remains a focus and a priority.
A National Childcare Strategy for Canada
The LCCN, along with partners from Strive and Fanshawe College have come together to advocate, research, and promote a National Childcare Strategy for Canada, setting in motion a collaboration that is unique and fluid in meeting the needs of those who value the early years in the London region.
We are working to raise public awareness as well as engage all levels of government to take action in creating a National Childcare Strategy with the pillars of Affordability, Access, Quality and Responsiveness in mind.
For a prosperous Canada and a fulsome recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the answer has never been more clear.
Our ECE Policy Journey
In September 2022, student researchers from Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership degree program at Fanshawe College launched a blog where they share their ongoing process of creating an Early Years framework policy prototype. They hope to provide a unique platform for community members and stakeholders to stay informed, share their insights, and lived experiences with them.
Learn more about their journey HERE.
Ontario Provincial Election 2022
Commitments to increase the number of child care spaces and decrease fees for families as detailed in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) agreement, will depend on a robust and growing ECEC workforce.
The reality is a workforce in crisis, with all time high levels of burnout and attrition.
The investments promised by the current Ontario government under the CWELCC are insufficient at best and will only further compound recruitment and retention challenges in the sector.
To facilitate ongoing information sharing, we created an infographic that details each major parties’ platform as it relates to child care, specifically support for the workforce.
Check it out HERE.
Supporting Early Years Professionals, Supports Children & Families!
An Open Letter to Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce
On Thursday, January 27, 2022, members of the LCCN had another opportunity to meet with Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce.
We shared the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 on the child care sector and discussed the increasingly urgent need for Ontario to sign onto the federal child care plan.
Following this meeting, LCCN’s Advocacy Sub-Committee drafted an Open Letter to the Minister, echoing our key messages and in particular emphasizing the need for a comprehensive workforce strategy and strongly recommending the implementation of a wage grid with a minimum starting rate of $25/hour.
“A wage reflective of the required qualifications and professional accountabilities for Early Childhood Educators in childcare is critical to ensure we retain quality Educators throughout their working career.”
It is our position that any child care plan absent of appropriate consideration of compensation and decent work will fall short in meetings its objectives of providing accessible and responsive care for children and families in Ontario.
The key to the quality and stability of the child care system is support for the professional workforce.
Read the full letter HERE.
2nd Annual Early Years Town Hall
We engaged a local parent, employer, child care Executive Director, Registered Early Childhood Educator, and an ECE student will come together for in a thought-provoking panel discussion where we sought to answer the question,
“Why does child care matter, and why should it matter to me?”
Watch the full recording HERE.
For an overview of key points from our panelists on issues of affordability, access, quality, and more, check out the Town Hall Facts Sheet.
Voice of the Family
We asked London and Middlesex families,
“What has child care meant to you during the pandemic?”
What we received were heartfelt messages of gratitude, hopefulness, and confidence.
These stories provide insight into how families in our region are navigating and responding to the challenges of the pandemic while balancing work and the responsibility of raising young children.
These love letters to child care speak to the heart of why a robust and viable child care system is ESSENTIAL, not only for children and families but for happy, healthy, and prosperous communities as well.
We are delighted to share a handful of these letters with you.
Meeting with Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce
On Thursday, April 29, 2021, members of the LCCN had the opportunity to meet and discuss the current and future state of child care with Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, Ministers Monte McNaughton and Jeff Yurek, and members of their staff.
We shared our challenges experienced throughout the pandemic, our vision for change, and, moreover, our hope for earnest collaboration as we move forward with the federally announced plan to create and sustain a national child care program.
We look forward with optimism to ongoing dialogue as we work together to build a child care system we can all be proud of.
The LCCN is here and ready to support!
Letter of Support from Mayor Ed Holder and the City of London
On March 17, 2021, City of London Mayor, Ed Holder sent a letter to the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Honourable Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, voicing his support for the creation of a National Child Care Framework on behalf of the City of London.
The letter reads, in part;
I am calling on the Governments of Canada and Ontario to work in partnership, and to work expediently to create a Framework in light of the essential role affordable, accessible, inclusive and high-quality child care will play as part of our national, regional and local community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the important role child care plays for Canadian families. A robust child care system will allow parents to return to work with certainty, precisely when we need it the most. By investing in child care, we are investing in our economic recovery.
Additionally, public and private sector coordination under a National Child Care Framework will support the long-term health and wellbeing of children and families.
Our community is unwavering in our support for children and families. However, we are also deeply concerned for the short and longer-term sustainability of the child care system. Investments in child care can reduce equity gaps in our community that have been amplified by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meaningful investments delivered through a strategic Framework will ensure the essential infrastructure remains available post-pandemic to support our community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, while also securing longer-term sustainability for the child care system.
We are grateful for the support of our municipality and their commitment to preserving the integrity and viability of our sector.
Read the full letter HERE.
On February 22, 2021, we launched the #IAmEssential campaign. This campaign is part of our ongoing effort to bring greater attention and awareness to the child care sector and to further our call for a National Childcare Strategy.
This was also a way to say Thank You to all the child care professionals in our region for their tireless efforts and invaluable contributions to the community throughout this pandemic and beyond.
Early Childhood Educators have certainly fulfilled front line duties over the past year and are inarguably essential workers for the community during this pandemic – and beyond. The province should support their unwavering commitment to Ontario’s families by providing additional funding and prioritization in the vaccination process.
– Dr. Andrea Lawlor, Parent
Early Years Town Hall
On Friday, September 11, 2020, members of the LCCN had the opportunity to address several elected representatives from our municipal, provincial and federal governments at our Early Years Virtual Town Hall.
We discussed the various challenges being faced by the field of Early Childhood Education, the added burdens the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on the sector, and shared our vision for a National Childcare Strategy.
Watch highlights of the Town Hall HERE.
Attraction & Retention in the Licensed Child Care Sector
With the Ministry of Education’s increased focus on the importance of early years and licensed child care, the LCCN advocacy subcommittee has embarked on developing a strategy for recruiting and retaining new professionals to support the children and families of London & Middlesex.
Adopt a Councilor
The Child Care Advisory Committee Work Plan for 2016 included an Adopt a Councilor initiative. The Licensed Child Care Network worked collaboratively with members of the Child Care Advisory Committee to select and contact members of City Council. Councilors were invited to visit and tour child care programs and early years’ sites in their ward. This initiative provided an opportunity for Councilors to meet local service providers and residents of their community who rely on child care services.
Councilors received an information binder from each site prepared with statistics on licensed child care, funding information, information on how to access child care and child care subsidy, and statements on the economic impact child care has on the city of London. These resources were provided to assist Councilors in gaining knowledge related to the essential early years’ programs and services offered in their ward.
This initiative provided an opportunity for the Licensed Child Care Network and London’s Child Care Advisory to educate and raise public awareness about the importance of quality early years, early learning and licensed child care.
Below is an archive of LCCN (formerly Partners Promoting the Importance of Early Childhood Education) advocacy projects: