Miss Erin's Letter to MLA
2019, September 22
Since our last conversation regarding my child care facility (back in April), I have had a memorable journey through different levels of the Alberta Government. The appeals process was quite an experience. We were extremely disappointed in the panels ability to be unbiased and I was devastated when I heard that we had lost. I was hoping that, win or lose, the panel would include all the information so licensing’s history of abuse would be documented; It was not.
Regardless, I am pleased to report that there were some positive outcomes: I learned to keep things simple for future appeals, and my facility has been transferred to a new team (again). We have been reassigned to the central region’s licensing team. I do find it strange that the first thing said to me by my new team was that they “do things very differently than the Calgary region…”. I am grateful for this, however it does raise some red flags regarding the licensing team as a whole. The law is the law, all regions have urban and rural programs, all regions have diversity in their programs, so how and why are they all doing the same job differently? The director himself admitted to me at our meeting in May 2019, that some facilities can meet all the checkboxes, but he would never trust them to look after his own
children. This is disturbing to me both as a parent and an ECE professional.
My staff and I tirelessly work to create a space where children and families feel safe and welcome. There are many concerns facing this field in general and having these issues with licensing makes this seem like an impossible climb for many facilities, managers, administrators, and, I dare say most of all, front line staff. Imagine feeling constantly criticized while energetically caring for a room full of children 0-5 years old. This is an oversimplification of course, however for the sake of time, I will not subject you to the actual
job descriptions which are much more detailed and exhaustive than most realize.
Ultimately, I do not feel my fight is over with Child Care Licensing and am hoping that we continue to have your support to effect change where it is desperately needed for the sake of child care programs (an essential service) as well as small business owners (an economic necessity).
L. Erin Jensen, Owner/Operator
Country Kids Child Care
818 The Broadway PO Box 442
Standard, Alberta T0J 3G0