Reflection: USA/Ontario childcare system


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Reflection: USA/Ontario childcare system

  1. 1. Reflection<br />USA/Ontario childcare system<br />
  2. 2. The child care system of Canada and United States of America are very much similar with each other. For example, they have similarities in their history, the program and in the roles and training of the early childhood educators. Both countries have similar culture and first language but the second language in USA is Spanish and in Canada it is French. <br />When we look at the history of both countries we observe that men and women were needed to work in the factories during the mid-19 to 20th century, due to commercial and manufacturing development in Toronto and other big cities in Canada. During World War 1 and 2 women also worked in a work force. Therefore, child advocates and charitable organizations established day cares for helping poor and immigrated children. However, in the United States, the situation was similar in the War days like Canada. Women had to work in industries to produce war materials and their children were needed to be taken care of and supervised in child cares. First, the Federal Government sponsored the day cares then later, stopped the support for day cares. In the 1850s, the day nurseries were established in the United States by private charities, the first of them being The New York Day Nursery in (1854). <br />New York and Ontario share many similarities regarding childcare. In New York some families may be eligible for free or low cost child care depending on their families’ income or purposes for requiring childcare. The Administration for Children's Services (ACS), funds free or low cost childcare for eligible families living in the state of New York. Whereas Ontario has various departments throughout the Ministry of Education system where families can apply for childcare and subsidies. More specifically the Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families is a tax-free monthly payment that helps families pay for the costs of raising children under 7 years of age. The program helps families who are low-to-middle income single or two-parent families, have one stay-at-home parent or have one or both parents studying or in training. Toronto specifically has Children’s Services Division, which focus on applications for subsidy, questions regarding your subsidy, concerns, complaints or appeals. In New York there are a variety of childcare options available for both low and high-income families. Some examples are but are not limited to: Group Childcare Centres, Family Childcare Networks, Family Childcare Homes,Head Start and Out of School Time (OST). Ontario also provides a variety of childcare options similar to New York. Some examples of childcare options in Ontario are but are not limited to: Home-based childcare, Centre-based, and School Age. Ontario also has Informal (Unlicensed) Child Care such as, a babysitter or relative who comes to the child's home at the required times or a nanny who lives with the family. Higher-income families have the option of hiring an au pair or a nanny to provide in-home care. Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) is a free educational program available through the Department of Education for eligible 4 year olds in the state of New York. Childcare Centres are generally open from 8am – 6pm, Monday through Friday. However some Family Childcare Providers open early, stay open late, and also provide weekend hours. <br />In New York ACS performs regular check ups to all of their funded programs as well as regular visits to every Family Childcare Home. New York must follow rules and regulations in order to provide a certified childcare facility. Similarly Ontario must follow the rules and regulation of the Day Nurseries Act. The Day Nurseries Act is the legislation that regulates licensed childcare in Ontario. The act lays out the requirements that a licensed childcare operator has to meet in order to operate. These requirements help protect the health, safety and well being of children. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) regulates the childcare facilities for children up to the age of 6. Some examples of regulations that must be met in New York are: Every Childcare centre must have a planned program of activities, which are <br />
  3. 3. developmentally appropriate for cognitive, social, emotional, physical and language skills. For children unable to nap, time and space must be provided for quiet play. Children must not be forced to rest for long periods of time. Sleeping arrangements for infants require that the infant be placed on his or her back to sleep, unless medical information is presented to the provider by the parent that shows that arrangement is inappropriate for that child. These are just some of the rules and regulations stated by the DOHMH. Ontario’s rules and regulations are not far from being the same as New York’s. Some examples of Ontario’s regulations are: “every operator of a day nursery shall ensure that any variation in a daily program plan of a day nursery operated by the operator is noted in a daily written record kept for the purpose by the day nursery”. Also, “a child who is unable to sleep during the rest period is not kept in bed for longer than 1 hour and is permitted to engage in quiet activities”. It’s safe to say that New York and Ontario share many similarities regarding childcare systems and regulations. <br />Roles of ECEs are very much similar in USA and Ontario. Both focus on child’s development and growth, not only physically but also emotionally to build up confidence and a strong personality in them. Training requirements are different in each state like in each province of Canada. In the United States, the child care providers have to continue education and training, workshops, and courses to strengthen his/her skills, similar to Ontario. US childcare providers have different credential programs, they accept high school diploma, sometimes only experiences, just certain hours of ongoing training, ECE, AA or BA degree in early child hood or in child development. In Utah, there is no minimum teacher’s education required but other initial training and annual training applies. In New York, minimum education for childcare providers is just experience with high school diploma and 15 hours of annual training. Other orientation training, fire & safety, health & safety, first aid and CPR training is not necessary. In Ontario one staff per group of children is required to have a 2 year ECE diploma from an approved Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology (OCAAT). <br />NACCRRA is the National Association of Child Care Agencies and it provides requirements for qualification and training to early childcare providers in USA. The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, AECEO is a professional association for ECEs across the province of Ontario. It supports the professional growth of ECEs by providing professional development and training. The College of ECE is made to focus on quality and standards in the practice of early childhood educators. Ontario is the first jurisdiction in North America to have a college of ECEs. There are 40 self regulatory colleges that exist in the province. Every ECE has to register in the college of ECEs after completing their diploma and must renew it annually. Both countries have different resources to get education and training. <br />Conclusion: Both countries have more similarities than differences in the childcare. History, programs, availability, accessibility and roles of ECEs are very similar. There are some differences in training programs like video teleconferences and CDA credential training of ECEs but their basic purpose is the same.<br />By: Nasreen Fatima, Samina Naseem, and Georgina Bikas.<br />