The purpose of the Forum is to create a place where:
- The Child Care and Early Learning sector can hear information directly from the City, the Province and the School Boards on issues and initiatives that affect the Child Care and Early Learning system.
- Children’s Services and other planning and decision-making bodies can seek input and feedback from the Child Care and Early Learning sector on initiatives that affect early learning and child care.
- The Child Care and Early Learning sector can raise issues, ask questions and promote dialogue on the child care system.
The Child Care and Early Learning sector in Toronto, including service providers, policy makers and planners, have a collaborative meeting space where information-sharing and constructive dialogue can support the advancement of a quality Child Care and Early Learning system.
- We are partners working for a quality child care system.
- We value collaborative engagement.
- We value each other’s professionalism and experience.
- We understand that we are a complex system with many different, valuable contributors.
Attendance and participation at meetings will be open to all interested parties; however, meetings will be intended for the following participants:
- Child Care and Early Learning operators and service managers in Toronto
- City of Toronto (Toronto Children’s Services; Toronto Public Health)
- Ministry of Education
- School boards serving Toronto
- Others, as relevant to agenda items
Toronto Children’s Services (TCS) will attend and support all meetings.
Representatives from the Ministry of Education, the school boards and Public Health will attend to present on key initiatives of relevance and interest and to answer emerging questions, where possible.
Frequency and Location
Schedules, locations, agendas, updates, and materials for all meetings will be posted at toronto.ca/children/forum.
English-language Forum meetings will take place three times a year, including one centralized meeting. Centralized meetings help ensure more consistent information-sharing with all operators.
Meetings will take place in January, May and September in locations near easy transit access and with parking options.
English-language meetings will alternate between locations in the North and locations in the South. Meetings will be live-streamed to allow for remote participation for those unable to attend in person.
French-language Forum meetings will take place approximately a week after the English meeting. All French-language meetings will be centralized and will be held at the North York Civic Centre.
The French-language and English-language Forums will have co-facilitators, one from the Child Care and Early Learning community and one from Children’s Services.
Co-facilitators will share the role of chairing the meetings and will be responsible for:
- Keeping meetings on time and focused on the agenda items
- Helping to maintain a positive and productive meeting space
- Facilitating the open question period
- Helping meetings achieve the Forum’s purpose, vision and principles
Selection and length of term – Community Co-Facilitator
- There will be one English-language Community Co-Facilitator for each of the four districts and one French-language Community Co-Facilitator.
- The co-facilitator role will be a two year term, with the option of multiple and consecutive terms, if approved by the Forum participants.
- Nominations for the co-facilitator role should:
- be a Child Care Operator or Supervisor of a centre-based licensed child care program in the City of Toronto;
- operate in the district they seek to represent; and
- have a funding relationship with the Children’s Services, be in good standing with TCS Operating Standards, and meet the minimum Assessment for Quality Improvement (AQI) standards.
- The Community Co-Facilitator will be nominated through firstname.lastname@example.org and endorsed at a Forum meeting.
- When there are multiple nominations for a single position, an anonymous voting process will be used.
- The Community Co-Facilitator for the upcoming term should be selected and approved before the current term ends.
Agenda Setting Team
- An Agenda Setting Team will review the issues raised and action items from previous meetings, discuss and identify potential agenda items. This process will be conducted in a manner that is suitable and mutually agreeable to all team members (e.g. in person meeting, by phone, by email).
- The Agenda Setting Team will include the Ministry of Education, the school boards, Toronto Public Health (TPH), Children’s Services and the Community Co-Facilitators. Children’s Services will connect with the Ministry, TPH, and the school boards to identify their respective agenda items.
- The Co-Facilitators, including the community representatives and the Children’s Services representative will coordinate the process.
- Each team member will be responsible for consulting with their professional peers and colleagues to identify potential agenda items to bring to the agenda setting process.
- The Co-Facilitators will be responsible for finalizing the agenda once all agenda setting team members have been consulted.
- The Agenda Setting Team will ensure that they consider the requirement of French Speakers and content at the French Forum. English presentations are acceptable where French-language speakers and presentations are not possible. The TCS French-language Consultant will be available at French-language meetings to support communication and interpretations.
- Agendas will be posted on the Forum website at least one week in advance of meetings.
- Annually, the agenda setting team will forecast agenda items for the upcoming year, to the greatest extent possible. Prior to each meeting, any new, arising items will be added to the agenda and forecasted items will be confirmed or removed.
Meeting Minutes and Materials
- Children’s Services will be responsible for taking and posting meeting minutes for the English-Language Forum.
- Meeting minutes will be action oriented, capturing only a brief summary of agenda items, while focusing on key actions arising from the meeting.
- Minutes and, where possible, materials shared will be posted on the Forum webpage.
Raising & Tracking Key System Questions and Issues:
- When key system questions or issues are raised they will be brought to the Agenda Setting Team for review and follow-up.
- The Agenda Setting Team will revise items for consideration on future agendas.
- Key system questions, issues and follow-up will be documented on the Forum website.
- A number of channels will be developed to raise key system questions and issues, including email, on-line, in meetings and through the Agenda Setting Team.
Child Care and Early Learning Forum Principles
- We are partners working for a quality child care system
- All participants are partners in supporting Toronto’s child care system
- All participants are partners in maintaining and improving the quality of child care in Toronto
- All participants strive to increase access to quality child care for all families.
- We value collaborative engagement
- We recognize that the child care sector is stronger for children and families when all parties work together as partners, including in times of transformation and stability.
- We recognize that having and sharing different views and approaches can lead to constructive dialogue, which can create better outcomes.
- We recognize that the child care sector is a complex system that experiences significant change and that these changes impact the working environments of all participants
- We recognize that responding to changes in the child care system is a shared experience amongst all participants and that this can help us work together as partners throughout the transformation process.
- We value each other’s professionalism and experience
- We acknowledge that all members of the child care sector have valuable knowledge and experience that should be heard and responded to, and should inform child care planning and decision-making.
- We acknowledge the importance of sharing back the results of a consultation with those who were consulted and reporting on how the input and feedback influenced the planning or decision-making.
- We understand that we are a complex system with many different, valuable contributors
- We recognize that there are many contributors in the child care sector and that each one brings unique value to the child care sector.
- We acknowledge that the child care system is complex and is made up of many diverse child care Operators with differing needs and preferences.
- We recognize that the goal of child care planning and decision-making is always to support a quality child care system for families and children and that it may be difficult to meet all needs and preferences all of the time.
Summary of the Forum Review Process (formerly District Child Care Advisories): 2016
The enclosed Terms of Reference were initially developed by a District Child Care Advisories (DCCA) Strategic Review Team, which included child care operators and Children’s Services staff. It was informed by a consultation and survey with participants of the former DCCAs, and reviewed and approved by participants at DCCA meetings.
Initiation of the DCCA review
Feedback from Child Care Operators in March 2015 indicated a need to review and strengthen the DCCAs.
A survey about the DCCAs was completed by 447 respondents in April 2016. Respondents included child care operators and supervisors, home child care providers, and partners of the DCCAs (e.g. Children’s Services staff, school boards, Ministry of Education, and others with invested interests). The DCCA survey captured opinions, experiences and suggestions about:
- Awareness, attendance, and accessibility
- Current levels and areas of satisfaction
- Future directions
- Other related opportunities for child care operators.
Development and Review of Recommendations
A Strategic Review Team, comprised of child care operators and Children’s Services staff reviewed the survey results and developed recommendations for how to strengthen the DCCAs. The team presented the results and recommendations at DCCA meetings in September, 2016. Meeting participants shared feedback and confirmed their agreement through an instant clicker-polling format.
Development and Launch of New Terms of Reference
The Strategic Review Team developed the approved recommendations into a new Terms of Reference, which was then posted online and open for feedback from the child care community. In February, 2016, the finalized Terms of Reference was officially launched under its new name: the Child Care and Early Learning Forum (“the Forum”).
Jackman Community Daycare
Heart Beatz Child Care- Cliffcrest and Halbert Sites
|Blair Spence, Candy Factory Day Care
Le Petit Chaperon Rouge – Jones
If you are looking for material from previous Forums, please email email@example.com
Are you interested in helping to plan and facilitate the meetings for the Child Care and Early Learning Forum?
We are looking for Co-Facilitators in the north district, as well as a French-Language Co-Facilitator.
As part of the revised Child Care and Early Learning Forum (formerly the DCCA), meetings will be facilitated by a representative from the child care sector (operator) and a rep from Children’s Services. The French-language Forum will have one community Co-Facilitator, and the English-language Forum will have four (one for the East, West, North and South Districts)
What does the co-facilitator role entail?
Co-facilitators will facilitate Forum meetings. The English-language Co-Facilitators will rotate this role. Co-Facilitators will also be responsible for helping to set the agenda, understanding and bringing forward the ideas and requests from Operators, among other roles. The position is responsible for:
- Keeping meetings on time and focused on the agenda items
- Facilitating the open question period (e.g. directing questions to the right person if they’re present, asking that an action be included in the minutes to bring back answers or responses, etc…)
- Helping meetings achieve the Forum’s vision and principles of being a collaborative and positive space.
- Inform the meeting agendas;
- Help identify agenda items for Forum meetings.
How will the community co-facilitators be selected? How long will the position be for?
The community co-facilitator will be nominated and elected at a Forum meeting. Interested persons can either nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else. If nominated by someone else, the nominees must agree.
Participants at the Forum will vote for a nominee through an anonymous process. The co-facilitators will hold the role for a two year term. He or she can hold this role for multiple and consecutive two year terms, as long as they continue to be elected by the Forum’s participants.
If there is only one nominee the person will be acclaimed.
How do I nominate myself or someone else?
To nominate yourself or another person please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with: “Forum Co-facilitator” in the subject line.
How will the meeting agendas be developed?
The agenda will be created by the Forum co-facilitators, and staff from Children’s Services, with input from the Ministry of Education, the school boards, Toronto Public Health, and other partners, as applicable.
The agenda will also be informed by questions and issues raised by the community and by the action items from past meetings.
If you need more information, email email@example.com