On April 27, 2010, Bill 242 (the legislation associated with the
Government's Early Learning Program, or "ELP")
carried at Third Reading. It is expected to receive Royal Assent
shortly, and will come into force on a date to be named by
proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.
Bill 242 was considered by the Standing Committee on Social
Policy in late March and early April. The legislative process has
not resulted in any particularly significant changes to the Bill as
originally drafted and reported in our School Board Update of
February 23, 2010. For the most part, the changes appear intended
to clarify the responsibilities and roles of teachers as compared
to designated early childhood educators ("DECEs"). The
most significant amendments to the Education Act (the
"Act") are as follows:
Limitation of the new regulation-making power in subsection
11(1) 29.1 to provide for DECEs to work only in junior
kindergarten, kindergarten or extended day programs, as compared to
other programs within a school;
Clarification in the new section 170(2.2) that a board must
assign a teacher to each junior kindergarten and kindergarten class
in each school of the board, rather than potentially leaving any
such classes exclusively in the hands of a DECE;
The new section 170.3 of the Act dealing with persons assigned
to assist teachers and DECEs makes it clear that teachers are
expected to provide "instruction" as contrasted to
"the work of designated early childhood educators";
Whereas the Bill, in dealing with the "extended day"
portion of the ELP, used to refer to "extended day program
classes", it now refers to "extended day program
In a change that may provide some greater flexibility (and
efficiencies) to boards, the amended section 260(2) now requires
every board simply to appoint early childhood educators to
positions designated within the ELP, as compared to "an early
childhood educator to each position" within the ELP. This
suggests that one DECE may be made responsible for more than one
The new section 264.1(2) clarifies that it is not part of a
teacher's job to cooperate or coordinate with DECEs with
respect to the extended day program aspect of the ELP; and
The new sections 277.47 and 277.48 make it clear that teachers
cannot be required to mentor DECEs or conduct or participate in
performance appraisals of DECEs.
Bill 242 remains essentially silent with respect to such
critical issues as DECE representation rights, DECE collective
agreements and pay equity.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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