BETTER LANGLEY: How will you work with communities and early learning providers to enhance and increase early learning (Childcare, seamless Kindergarten, and Before & After)?
BETTER LANGLEY FAVOURITE ANSWERS HIGHLIGHTED IN GREEN (COMING SOON)
A note about highlighted answers: Better Langley favourites are selected based on discussions with dozens of parents, teachers, local politicians. Each question had select criteria that the aforementioned stakeholders found to be of the greatest importance and I have done my best to represent these. Additionally, my own academic background in political science, philosophy, religious studies, and real estate all provide its own knowledge base, process of critical thought, and, yes, biases. In order to reduce personal bias toward any candidate or organization, however, answers were read anonymously, separate from the candidate before selecting a “favourite” to highlight.
SCHOOL TRUSTEE CANDIDATE ANSWERS (by ballot order)
RAI (Contract with Langley): Early childhood educators work with children who are 8 years old and younger or in preschool. Because this is such a crucial time of there development, it’s important that the education these young children receive is of the highest level by qualified educators. I will proactively work on ensuring the quality of early childhood education is creating an effective and appropriate classroom and school environment. It’s also necessary to employ educated teachers and have Special Education Assistances to provide support to children who are diverse learners.
LOCKHART (Independent): I believe that many early learning programs are essential for children and caregivers/parents. We need to ensure that these programs are accessible to parents, and ensure that the unique needs of the community are identified as not all areas have the same demographics. With the support of the board, I would explore ways to “poll” or engage communities on a scheduled basis to gain a better perspective of what types of services may be in demand for the area. We need meet the needs of a rapidly expanding population and an area that comes to mind is our English language learning communities that may need different services to meet their unique needs but ensure they are getting equal opportunities.
PERREAULT (Independent): Trustee’s work is completed largely through motions and policy that are in line with the MoEC any advocacy work that needs to be done to strengthen this conversation will have my voice behind it. However, I can confidently say under the current leadership team, the vision to witness Seamless Day Kindergarten expand is already in motion. That being said, I strongly believe it is important to listen to our Stakeholders to hear the felt needs for their catchments. The District is in ongoing communication with the Recreation Dpt with regard to where our support can be injected in enhancing communication and offering space for ABTB.
DICKINSON (Contract with Langley): I would start by valuing the work done but these groups over the past few years. The ToL’s Child Care Action Plan (December 2021), has already started these conversations. I would advocate for us to rely on Lisa Lainchbury to start building the bridge with the municipalities in order to further the opportunities available. I would absolutely love to explore how the district can help identify early learners who may have diverse needs, so that we can begin early intervention techniques as soon as possible.
TURNER (Independent): Due to the issues with your online account, I have chosen not to fill out the survey.
WAKELIN (Independent): We must fully understand the need of each community and prioritize finding solutions. One of the challenges has been the undervaluing of the staff required to offer these services. I would like to see a partnership between the TOL and SD35 in creating childcare spaces in our community.
WILSON (Independent): I am fortunate enough to sit on the BCSTA childcare working group and have been (and hopefully will continue to be) able to provide input to help facilitate a thoughtful plan for the implementation of childcare in schools. Some of our most recent discussions have involved Early Childhood Education dual credit programs that will help with the lack of Early Childhood Educators, supporting and collaborating with the existing childcare sector, and creating job opportunities for current school district employees to receive more hours and earn livable wages.
ROSS (Independent): Staff sit on various committees beyond our district. We are grateful for their support of our students and the board will likely welcome any education providers to enhance student learning/success.
FOX (Independent): Unfortunately, COVID has restricted the ability of the Board to reach out and meet and engage stakeholder groups in effective face-to-face dialogue. The Board is committed, as am I, to reactivating our engagement strategy with our partner groups as outlined in the ‘Strategic Plan’. Recently the Board held a meeting of several partner groups to reacquaint ourselves to this important tool for dialogue and understanding. This was a beginning and with the District assuming control of the early childhood education programming it will be important to have that dialogue with the stakeholders involved and, as well, we must continue to engage all our stakeholders who may have an interest in, and a part to play, in the transition. This must include the Township with respect to the Active Beyond the Bell program which we facilitate the room availability and they provide the program personnel and program itself.
NEUFELD (Contract with Langley): I will work with stakeholders like CUPE to understand where the roadblocks are. For example, Seamless Day Kindergarten, under an early childhood educator, only has 12 spaces per class, this could double if there was a Responsible Adult present as an aide (as per Fraser Health’s daycare licensing requirements). This would be a good opportunity to top up the hours for SEAs. However, the training that a SEA goes through is not recognized as a responsible adult. The Board could work together with Council to advocate to Fraser Health to make the necessary changes to licensing requirements.
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