Has Covid-19 Shown Us That We Need More Daycare and Less Teachers in Ontario? By Jamie Gilcig

SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 – Covid-19 is showing us a lot of truths. Some people are not going to like them and some will.

The Ontario Teachers Union is one of the most powerful and successful in Canada. There’s no doubt to that. Through mostly its relationship with the former Liberal government in the province they built their position into one that has seen student results shrink as there’s been less and less in the pie to cover other costs.

The average Ontario teacher earns over $100,000.00 per year plus benefits and a great pension plan which they built and manage well. That’s over $500 per day in class.

Teacher’s unions have been fighting online education because, well, it appears that it clearly will impact their bottom line.

Online educations isn’t the future. It’s the present with exciting options for parents and students. Choices can be made as to which directions can be studied and when. Education on demand is exciting.

The average daycare salary is about 1/3rd the cost of a teacher and many think they have a tougher job.

The old adage about prisons is are people there to be punished or rehabilitated?

The new adage is do we send our kids to school for daycare or to be educated?

What Covid-19 has shown us is that online learning is real and tangible and will play an increasing role in the future. What we need is more daycare and support for families and less time spent in old school buildings.

The old model is…..old. We don’t need huge buildings. Daycare and Learning Centres could be smaller and people that want to home school or do so in bubbles can too.

The problem with that is you really won’t need as many teachers. In fact you’ll need very few teachers as much of the curriculum can be rebroadcasted.

What we really need more of are day cares and teacher’s aides. A teacher’s aide in Ontario makes about the same as a daycare worker.

While this would clearly be better for our society, Teachers and their unions would not accept this. Can’t really blame them either, and what political party would want to take on the Teacher’s Union in an election?

Right now in Ontario we spend nearly ten times as much on Teacher salaries than child care. We spend about as much contributing to teacher pensions than we spend on child care.

The simple truth is that the status quo isn’t working in Ontario. Covid-19 has really exposed a lot of things and this is one of them.

We can save approximately 40% or more switching to a more care based system with better results. Those savings could be invested in more special needs care, for example, children within the Autism spectrum.

People work all year. Is there a reason to take Summer’s off any longer? Is there a reason to have narrow hours of schooling? There are creative options that can really advance our young people, but it will come at the cost of many teaching positions as we know them.

There are truths and solutions. The public will have to make some hard and clear decisions and support politicians willing to implement them, but they are out there.


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