Affordable child care remains uncertain for many Ontarians

$10-a-day child care plan least efficient, most expensive and complex way to tackle affordability

Affordable child care remains uncertain for many OntariansThe rising cost of living is doing a number on family budgets. In response, the federal government recently released its “affordability plan” that includes the previously announced child-care fee reductions under its Canada-wide $10-a-day plan. In May, some Ontario families had expected to see reduced child-care fees and a partial refund backdated to Apr. 1.…

Canada has its own baby formula problem

Its largest baby formula plant ships all its products to China

Canada has its own baby formula problemParents of toddlers are concerned about baby formula shortages due to a combination of factors. A major recall in the United States affecting the top manufacturer of baby formula, coupled with supply chain challenges, has made things difficult for parents. In the U.S., some parents are driving hours just to get the right product for…

Community key to providing support for children

Giving children the tools and skills to enter school with their “best foot forward

Community key to providing support for childrenDespite what many first-time parents may wish for, kids don’t come with instruction manuals. Even seemingly straightforward developmental milestones, like when to introduce solid food, can vary across countries. And when it comes to language development, things get even more complicated. It can be challenging to gauge what is just a child’s creativity and what…

Experts weigh in on sedentary behaviour in schools

Learning doesn’t always need to happen sitting at a desk

Experts weigh in on sedentary behaviour in schoolsWe know that school kids spend too much time sitting at their desks. Now we have some evidence-based recommendations to counter that sedentary behaviour. They offer guidelines to educators, parents and caregivers to help school-aged children grow and thrive. “It kind of challenges traditional views of learning,” said Valerie Carson. “Learning doesn’t always need to happen sitting at…

Will the next crisis also shut down in-person schooling?

Should in-person learning be an essential service? Can parents and guardians be included in decisions?

Will the next crisis also shut down in-person schooling?Sometimes it takes a crisis to make things clear. Consider the last two years of rolling pandemic school closures. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Ontario’s government education systems largely failed to serve more than two million students well. Calls for wholesale reform to Ontario education have begun and include revamping all kindergarten-to-Grade-12 curricula and a…

B.C. is long on childcare promises, short on delivery

Provincial mismanagement and disrespect for childcare operators has finally hit a boiling point

B.C. is long on childcare promises, short on delivery“I jump through the flaming hoops of death and I’m beyond frustrated.” This is one British Columbia childcare provider’s description of the circus the government is running regarding the administration of childcare. B.C. parents looking forward to $10-a-day childcare are in for disappointment. Provincial mismanagement of childcare and disrespect for childcare operators has been going…

The best childcare solution is to fund families directly

That way, parents will be able to afford the kind of care that best meets their needs

The best childcare solution is to fund families directlyWe’ve all seen the headlines about Ontario being the only province not to sign on to the federal childcare plan. The Liberal Party of Ontario drew attention to this again recently, announcing that if it formed a government in June after the next provincial election, the province would send families a retroactive payment of $2,750…

Learning sessions help teen heart patients prepare for the adult world

One-on-one sessions give teens knowledge and skills to make a successful transition out of pediatric care

Learning sessions help teen heart patients prepare for the adult worldAn 18th birthday means grown-up privileges and adult opportunities. For teens with congenital heart disease, it also brings an abrupt end to their time in the pediatric medical system and the uncomfortable new reality of taking responsibility for their health. But doctors and researchers at the University of Alberta and Stollery Children’s Hospital aim to…

Professionalization of youth sports hurts our kids and society

Kids become performers in a spectacle, under the authoritarian oversight of the head coach

Professionalization of youth sports hurts our kids and societyEducational, physical, emotional and spiritual developmental goals for youth and high school sports programs are increasingly being brushed aside by win-at-all-costs and profit-at-all-costs ethos. The professionalization of youth sports organizations, our ‘little leagues,’ is appalling. Adults – parents and coaches – treat youth sports like the big-time pro and college versions. Kids quickly learn from…

Kid-friendly, nature-themed activities to do during COVID-19

While outside, stop a moment and watch. You might see a rabbit hop by or birds searching for a snack

Kid-friendly, nature-themed activities to do during COVID-19I know how tough it is to amuse kids when times are normal, but during this COVID-19 crisis, I can appreciate that it’s much harder. I raised three wonderful children and two of them are now raising children of their own. So I thought I’d share some ideas on how to engage your kids and…
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