Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Letter of the Week: Early Learning & Child Care Plan

Letter to the Editor, Vancouver Courier:
Tracey Young, October 6, 2010.

Re: "Shame on those parents whose kindergartner can't do their ABCs," Sept. 29 (Fiona Hughes).

I'd surmise many parents had the same reaction, possibly a defensive one, to the provocative headline of Fralic's story. I hope the important threads of the research and article aren't missed--a large number of children, a third, are entering school not ready emotionally, behaviourally or socially with developmentally normative life skills. This cuts across socio-economic, cultural and geographical areas. This raises an important opportunity to explore the reasons for this and how child-rearing has and is changing so much that children are being impacted so significantly in their early years, which I've seen as a social worker.

I recently attended a meeting at Collingwood Neighbourhood House where the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. and the Early Childhood Educators of B.C. introduced their briefing note, Our Emerging Plan for an Integrated System of Early Care and Learning in B.C. It's ambitious, sometimes idealistic and vast in scope.

It's based on the experience of the sector, research and best practices in early learning and includes a national and international focus. I encourage everyone to read this document, which offers a grassroots and made-in-B.C. vision for what kind of continuum of early learning and care we can provide our kids with the motivation of parents, leaders and child care providers in the field, other stakeholders and government. Access it at

Young people are our most important resources and social capital. Investing in children and their care, early learning and development is the key to their futures, as well as to the health and sustainability of our communities and society.

Tracey Young,

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