We will be posting stories and letters of support for the ELC program at Camosun. Tonight’s letter comes from Western Communities Family and Early Childhood Resource Network.
April 3, 2014
The Camosun College Board of Governors
Attention: Dr. Marilyn Pattison, Chair, Board of Governors
Dear Dr. Marilyn Pattison,
On behalf of the Sooke / West Shore Family and Early Childhood Resource Network, a community early years table with a shared vision to promote a better future for young children and their families, we are writing to express our concern regarding potential budget cuts to Camosun College’s Early Learning and Care Program. The Early Learning and Care Department are to be commended for their leadership, growing partnerships and ongoing initiatives that address the needs of the early years community throughout the Region.
The recent announcement proposing potential cuts to the Early Learning and Care (ELC) program has come as significant blow to our communities. At many of our community table meetings we hear from local service providers about the need for more qualified Early Childhood Educators, Special Needs Educators and Infant Toddler Educators, which this cut in funding would dramatically impact. We also hear from local families that have been through exhaustive searches to find quality childcare which these cuts in funding would have a significant impact on.
The West Shore Communities of Langford, Colwood and Sooke continue to experience growth as increasing numbers of families are relocating due to affordable housing and greater access to family focused opportunities. It is projected that the West Shore communities will experience a continued growth in population with a forecasted 92% increase by 2026. With this rapid growth and development continuing for the foreseeable future, there is an increasing need for support of new and existing childcare spaces and programs for families and children. If cuts are made to Camosun’s ELC program it would limit access to trained Early Childhood Educators which would significantly jeopardize our ability to work with government to create more childcare spaces and “improve Early Childhood Educator and out-of-school care provider training.”
With the recent announcement made through the Provincial Office of the Early Years to include more childcare spaces across the province over the next five years we need to be in a position to provide quality educators that are equip to provide exceptional care for children – our greatest natural resource.
On behalf of the Sooke / West Shore Family and Early Childhood Network we strongly encourage you to continue to invest in the ELC program and consider our collective voice and the impact that this potential decision will have on our communities, our families and our children. The vision of providing quality education to future Early Childhood Educators is vital to supporting the broader vision in the early childhood profession.
Sooke / West Shore Early Years Coordinator
Darlene Manthorpe – Belmont Park Pre-School
Ramona Melanson – Early Childhood Educator
Nicky Logins – Sooke Family Resource Society
Mitzi Dean – Pacific Centre Family Services Association
Scott Branch – Military Family Resource Centre
During the next few weeks we will be posting stories of advocacy for Camosun’s ELC program. Today’s story comes from Darlene Manthorpe from Belmont Park Preschool Society.
On Wednesday, April 9, an envelope was delivered to the Camosun College Board of Governors containing over 50 coloured index cards with a child’s drawing on one side and comments from their parent(s) on the opposite side regarding the proposed cuts to the ELC program. Belmont Park Pre-School staff included a cover letter. Our staff and parents will continue to advocate for this important program.
Belmont Park Pre-School Society
During the next few weeks we will be posting stories of advocacy for Camosun’s ELC program. Today’s letter comes from Janis Johnson, Coordinator of Peninsula Connections.
April 12, 2014
Dr. Marilyn Pattison, Chair
Board of Governors, Camosun College
Re: Potential Program Cuts to Early Learning and Care Program
Dear Dr. Pattison,
Peninsula Connections for Early Childhood, the Saanich Peninsula Early Years Table, wishes to express concern and dismay regarding the proposed cuts to the Early Learning and Care Program at Camosun College. This program is the only one available in our region, a region experiencing a crisis in its ability to secure adequate numbers of qualified diploma level graduates to fill the vacancies in our early learning and care facilities. If we are to have quality early childhood programs we need qualified educators, we cannot afford to compromise and reduce that quality of care for our youngest, most vulnerable citizens. We must all advocate on their behalf.
In 2013 the BC Government released its Families Agenda for British Columbia: Building a sustainable quality early years strategy to support BC families. This document focuses on working toward enhanced integration, coordination and development of the early childhood sector. A Provincial Office of the Early Years has recently been established and has indicated that it is preparing to announce the creation of one thousand new childcare spaces in 2015 and thousands of new spaces over the next five years. The early years community in our region is celebrating this positive shift by the government. More than ever we will need access to fully trained Early Childhood Educators. In light of these exciting, desperately needed developments we ask that you please re-consider your plan to reduce the training opportunities for Early Childhood Educators at your College.
Camosun College is an integral part of a shared vision of providing quality education opportunities for those who care for our young children. Both the educators and, through them, the children deserve the best that we can offer. Please re-consider your proposed cuts to this valuable program, re-consider the significance of your role related to the enhancement of learning and care opportunities for young children and maintain the Early Learning and Care program as it currently exists.
Janis Johnson, Coordinator,
Peninsula Connections for Early Childhood
During the next few weeks we will be posting stories of Advocacy for Camosun’s ELC program. Today’s story come from Rhonda at Lambrick Park Preschool.
Hello ELC supporters.
Today, the preschool children and educators at Lambrick Park Preschool & Childcare delivered a very special letter to the Chair of the Camosun Board of Governors.
The attachments show the envelope the letter was secured in.
The envelope contained over 35, 17 inch paper eggs that had been marble painted with pastel paint by the children and educators at our preschool and our current Camosun practicum student.
The letter explained that the children had made and given magical eggs to the Board of Governors. The eggs were to help them all remember to listen, cooperate and share because that is what we learn at preschool. The letter explained that working together was awesome because “everything is awesome when you’re part of a team.” It explained that the children and educators wanted Camosun to keep its 2 year ELC diploma program just as it is now so that it can continue to provide quality educators for our programs, families and children, maintain professionalism in our field and so we can continue to support and be proud of Camosun College.
We asked the Board of Governors to take good care of our beautiful eggs.
We wrote the letter on manilla paper with a purple, grape smelling Mr. Sketch felt.
The children made their own envelope and decorated it with a handmade flower and stickers. The envelope was approximately 2 feet by 2 1/2 feet large.
I was honored to hand deliver the special package to the college this afternoon.
Those of you who are fortunate to spend your day working with small children, we encourage you to ask your children to create some special pieces of art and with their permission, send them to the college next week.
When we all work together, we can create something awesome. (have you seen the Lego movie??!)
Yours in child care,
Proudly AKA Teacher Rhonda
Facing a budget shortfall, the executive committee at Camosun College in Victoria, BC is slating the Early Learning and Care Program for cuts.
Camosun College is facing budget cuts from the Ministry of Advanced Education. On March 14, 2014, the Early Learning and Care (ELC) program faculty were informed that the program was one of 6 programs within the college that was slated for cuts. This will significantly impact the ELC program. Faculty are currently exploring the possible options to mitigate the cuts. We do not know at this time exactly what the effect on our program and ELC students will be.
Initially, the college planned to cut the diploma program, reducing it to a 1-year certificate program. Since that time, and with significant community advocacy, the college has decided to retain the diploma, but is now looking at in taking students on alternate years, beginning this September. This will reduce by half; the number of ELC diploma graduates in our region, and will significantly reduce the training opportunities for those trying to complete the program on a part-time basis. A letter was sent out to potential students for the September 2014 cohort in early April informing them that there may not be a program starting in September of this year.
Please share this information to your networks and follow us on twitter at: #ELCcuts
For more information please read the briefing note:
Camosun ELC Briefing note
A letter from the Faculty to the community: