Today I dropped my daughter off at school, Greendale Elementary in Pierrefonds, completely oblivious to what I would face when I picked her up at the end of the day. As I waited outside the school doors for her teacher to bring her out, instead we were greeted by someone else asking all the parents to come to the office. We marched over and found two individuals handing out letters to the parents telling us that our kids could no longer attend a full day at school in the 4K program. These two individuals were from the Ministry of Families, who oversees the operations of daycares. The 4K programs in the elementary schools consist of a half-day of school and a half-day of daycare. My daughter only attends the half-day of school, so this essentially would not affect her, but what about the 80% of kids in the program who attend for a full day? The letters were basically telling parents that the daycare was being shut down and their kids would no longer have full day care as of….. TOMORROW!

Wow, who came up with that brilliant idea???

Basically, the Ministry of Families (who run the daycares) and the Ministry of Education (who run the 4K program) are fighting this political battle and the 4 year olds are caught in the middle paying the price.

Last August, a daycare owner filed a complaint against the school board because she was losing business in her daycare from parents who were enrolling their kids in the 4K programs instead of her daycare. As a result, Greendale Elementary has now been put under the microscope.

As the parent of a child that attends the 4K program, I am appalled that this is even happening. Shouldn’t the Ministry of Families be looking out for the kids and making decisions based on what is best for them? My daughter is thriving in this program and she would never be getting the type of stimulation she needs in a daycare setting. Can anyone really argue that my 4 year old would do better in an environment full of babies and toddlers instead of a school with children of her own age? I think the kids have become lost in this whole situation and the decisions are being made without giving them a thought.

What are the parents of the kids who attend full day supposed to do as of tomorrow in regards to child care? Does the Ministry of Families really believe that one day is a reasonable time frame to give parents to find alternative care for the other half of the day? It’s completely ridiculous!

In the end, someone from the Ministry of Education showed up and put a stop to the closure, and thankfully school will resume as normal tomorrow. In a reasonable world, the Ministry would let the kids finish the two months they have left at school and settle these issues over the summer, not while school is in session.  But who’s kidding who, do politicians ever make reasonable, logical decisions?

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