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College responds to the Protecting Students Act

Dec 6, 2016

Bill 37, Protecting Students Act 2016, was passed on December 5, 2016.

The Protecting Students Act 2016 was passed on [date]. This act amends the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007 and the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996. The College of Early Childhood Educators (College) welcomes measures to increase the transparency, fairness and efficiency of regulatory processes, and is pleased to see that all parties have could agree to pass this bill in a timely manner.

While the vast majority of the 50,000 early childhood educators in the province are competent and caring professionals who will never be involved in disciplinary proceedings, it is essential for the College to equip itself with tools and processes. enabling it to resolve matters relating to the conduct, competence or suitability of members in a fair and efficient manner.

The changes in the Protecting Students Act, 2016 build on those proposed in 2015 in the Child Care Modernization Act. Most of the changes were requested by the Order or reflect practices that had already been put in place. For some time now, we have been leading the way in protecting the public through a well-established disciplinary process that is meant to be fair and transparent. For example, findings of sexual assault result in a mandatory revocation of registration for at least five years, and information pertaining to criminal prosecutions relating to the practice of the profession is on the public register of members.

We welcome most of these changes and look forward to implementing those elements that will help streamline the mandatory employer reporting process and increase the efficiency of disciplinary hearing planning. We strive for regulatory excellence and want to ensure that our regulatory procedures are as transparent and as efficient as possible. This is how we protect Ontario’s children and families, ensuring fair treatment to all parties involved.

However, the College is concerned about the absence of an important measure to support members and protect the public in the Protecting Students Act. In its discussions with government officials and in its written and oral submissions to the Standing Committee, the Order requested the inclusion of provisions to be able to deal more effectively with cases of members suffering from a medical disorder. physical or mental order that may affect their ability to care for children safely.

More specifically, the Order had asked the authorities to be able to obtain an expert opinion from a health professional to assess a person’s ability to exercise safely, to determine the assistance necessary for his recovery and to establish a gradual return to work plan. It is a step that almost any self-regulating profession in Ontario can take. It is essential that the Order be able to impose appropriate restrictions on those who pose a risk to children while helping them find a long-term solution while respecting their privacy.

We are disappointed that the government did not take this opportunity to further protect children by including this provision in the Protecting Students Act. We are committed to working with government on this important issue and towards our common goal of protecting Ontario’s children and families through transparency, efficiency and regulatory excellence. professional.