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Ontario’s children and families deserve a quality, early learning and care system that implements fully the recommendations in the recent report of the province’s Early Learning and Care advisor, Dr. Charles Pascal, say early learning and child care advocates presenting Dr. Pascal with the second annual Excellence in Advocacy Award at a recognition breakfast tomorrow morning, Wednesday, October 21 at 8:00 a.m., Toronto City Hall Members Lounge.

To do anything less shortchanges children and their parents who deserve an expanded system of high-quality, publicly-funded early learning and care,” says Diane Kashin, Professor, President-Elect, Association of Early Childhood Educators-Ontario. She adds that “partly implementing Dr. Pascal’s report will wreak havoc in the child care system that’s left behind.”

At the 10:00 a.m. Queen’s Park media conference, Kashin, along with Tracy Saarikoski, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) President, will highlight why the groundbreaking recommendations in
Dr. Pascal’s report, With Our Best Future in Mind, should be the model adopted by the Ontario government for early learning and care.

Last year’s inaugural excellence award winner was the Hon. Pauline Marois, honoured for her leadership establishing a publicly funded, universal, early learning and care program in Quebec ten years ago. Since then, Quebec’s child poverty rates have fallen by half, women’s participation in the workforce has increased dramatically, school test scores have risen and more families are deciding to have children.

Attention: Photo Assignment Editors/Desks:

Following the media conference, children from a local child care centre will present Premier Dalton McGuinty with a copy of  The Day We Saved Chic-o-pee Child Care, a colouring book inspired by a story created by the children of Parkside Child Care Centre featuring the art of illustrator Tony Biddle.

WHO:     OCBCC President Tracy Saarikoski and Diane Kashin, President-Elect,
                Association of Early Childhood Educators-Ontario

WHAT:   1.  Breakfast and award presentation to Dr. Charles Pascal,
                    Wednesday, October 21, 8:00 a.m., Toronto City Hall Members Lounge
               2.   Media Conference: 10:00 a.m., Queen’s Park Media Studio

For more information, contact:

Diane Kashin  Professor, Early Childhood Education, Seneca College          416-917-7406
Tracy Saarikoski President, OCBCC                                                     c/o 416-434-8031
Kevin Wilson  CUPE Communications                                                         416-821-6641