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Hon. Liz Sandals, Minister of Education: Statement to the Legislative Assembly

Hon. Liz Sandals, Minister of Education: Statement to the Legislative Assembly

Child Care Worker And Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day

October 29, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand in this House today, in support of the 14th annual Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day.

Mr. Speaker, today we recognize the people who devote themselves to caring for our youngest and dearest every day.

These early years professionals are passionate, committed and hard-working.

They are skilled, knowledgeable and resourceful.

And they are vital to our world class education system.

They are giving children the tools they need to learn, grow, and feel valued…

And, above all, they are giving our children a valuable head start.

Mr. Speaker, these early years professionals and registered early childhood educators are also providing parents and families with much-needed peace of mind.

Parents are confident that when they leave home each morning, their children are being left in caring and capable hands.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you, there is amazing work being done each and every day across this great province.

In fact, it's worth noting that, in many ways, these early years professionals are a child's very first teacher outside of the home.

Long before children enter school and full-day kindergarten, early years professionals and early childhood educators are providing valuable guidance, support and encouragement.

As professionals, they know that children are born to learn and are rich in potential.

They also know that by recognizing a child's individual strengths and abilities, they can help their young minds flourish.

That's why, Mr. Speaker, these early learning professionals work closely with parents and families to support a child's growth and development.

And they give them the confidence and trust to enter the school system and succeed.

Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying, that a child's first day in the care of our early learning professionals is a momentous occasion.

It marks an important new beginning, in a journey that will culminate in the pursuit of their lifelong dreams.

And right from the start, Ontario's early years professionals and early childhood educators will be there with a helping hand.

Mr. Speaker, we know the importance of the formative years in creating a solid foundation for a child's entire life.

That's why, in Ontario, we offer an array of programs and services for children and families.

Early years professionals provide exemplary service in child care centres, licensed private home child care settings, full-day kindergarten classrooms, family resource programs, before and after school programs — and more.

Whatever the setting, early years professionals are doing amazing work.

And I don't just say this as Minister of Education.

I say this as a mother, a grandmother, and a former educator.

I've seen, first-hand, the great work of Ontario's early years professionals and early childhood educators.

Mr. Speaker — these are the champions of our youngest and most precious Ontarians.

They do what they do because they want to make a real difference — and they want to change lives for the better.

Mr. Speaker, all children have the right to a brighter future.

And all children deserve the best possible start in life.

Therefore, I urge everyone in this House today, to rise in support of these dedicated professionals — all of the early years staff and early childhood educators across our great province.

Thank you.