News: Waterloo - ECE staff to be Catholic, board says

ECE staff to be Catholic, board says
WATERLOO REGION — Early childhood educators will have to prove they’re Catholic if they want to get a job in the new all-day every-day kindergarten classes starting at local Catholic schools this fall. Trustees of the Waterloo Catholic board were told Monday that the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association has advised the school boards should give preference to baptized Catholics when hiring the early childhood educators, who will work as a team side by side with teachers.

Currently, the Catholic school board gives preference to Catholics when hiring teachers. Most board administrators such as principals and superintendents are also teachers, so they, too, are Catholic. And trustees of the Catholic board must be Catholic, by law.

But other workers at the Catholic board, such as secretaries or custodians, don’t have to be Catholic in order to be hired. And nor do education assistants, who offer help in the classroom. That’s because these workers aren’t responsible for educating children. The reason the early childhood educators will have to be Catholic is because they will be working closely with the teachers and will be helping to deliver the program to the children, said Rick Boisvert, superintendent of human resources services. They’ll help participate in morning prayers and other religious instruction, which is integrated into the classroom experience of children in the Catholic schools.

Seventeen early childhood educators will be hired by the board to provide instruction in the all-day every-day kindergarten program that is being started in eight schools starting this fall. The program will eventually be offered in every elementary school in the province, and has become a hallmark of the Ontario Liberal government’s emphasis on education.

The early childhood educators will make about $24 an hour, which is at the high end of the pay scale for these professionals. Trustees also heard that there is also talk of them becoming part of a union, perhaps the Catholic teachers’ union.

I'm all for proper ECE full-day kindergarten - but not tax money for CATHOLIC daycare. Keep an eye on GTA.