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Author Topic: Daycare expert flies in a warning
blake 3:17
Babbler # 10360

posted 24 October 2005 01:14 PM      Profile for blake 3:17     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oct. 22, 2005. 01:00 AM
Daycare expert flies in a warning

Ontario expansion plan called risky
`We got it wrong,' Australian says Ontario's forum told


When Australian daycare expert Lynne Wannan heard about Canada's plans to invest $5 billion in child care, she jumped on a plane.

The diminutive Aussie, whose teenaged son and daughter were daycare kids once upon a time, embarked on a three-week mission to warn Canada against allowing private companies to turn child care into big business.

"I've come to Canada to say we got it wrong," Wannan told a provincial child-care forum last week on Ontario's plans to spend $1.1 billion in federal child care funds over the next three years.

Ontario has said both non-profit and commercial centres will have access to operating funds under its Best Start plan to expand child care for 4- and 5-year olds. But since the provincial plan focuses on school-based child care, Ontario expects non-profit centres will provide most of the anticipated 25,000 new spots.

Wannan, who wrapped up her visit this week, says she has been impressed by Ontario's good intentions, but urges legislation banning public funds from being used to expand for-profit child care as the best safeguard.

"We thought we had a really good foundation in 1991," Wannan says of Australia's multi-billion-dollar child care expansion that began that year. "Our road down this privatization pathway was totally unexpected."

Like Ontario, Wannan says, most child care in Australia before 1991 was provided by municipal and non-profit, community-based centres, with a smattering of small, privately-owned businesses. Today, about 70 per cent of centres in Australia are commercially owned and the sector is dominated by large publicly traded child-care chains.

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From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged

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