Guidelines for the operation of AHS projects in Ontario have been developed to ensure consistency in program delivery. Each project will be required to effectively implement the established principles and standards and to adequately address the needs of Aboriginal children and their families within the scope of the AHS Initiative. Each AHS project in Ontario will be equipped with the appropriate resources required to meet the mandate of the AHS Initiative. Therefore, AHS projects in Ontario will:
a) be licensed under the Child Care & Early Years Act (CCEYA) through the Ministry of Education;
b) negotiate directly with licensing bodies to customize requirements to meet project needs (Health Canada and the Ministry of Community and Social Services);
c) comply with the minimum standards regarding provincial staff/child ratios;
d) develop and maintain policies and procedures for program operations, financial management, personnel management and project governance.
e) define staffing needs and qualifications, in consultation with AHS parents and community, in terms of how best to meet their needs and be broad in their thinking. Staff qualifications must include training in Early Childhood Education, teaching certificates or other related professional training or equivalent experience. Fluency in an Aboriginal language should be considered as an asset.
f) develop personnel policies which utilize the following:
- open and fair hiring practices;
- promote local hiring and give priority to Aboriginal people for staffing;
- develop and use an anti-nepotism policy;
- require that all staff submit a medical certificate attesting to good health and proper immunization prior to commencing employment and annually thereafter;
- verify qualifications of staff by requesting copies of ECE certificates, diplomas, certificates of equivalency, First Aid certificates, medical certificates, driving record approvals, as per job requirements;
- conduct a minimum of three work related reference checks on background of staff.
g) use Early Childhood Educators in the development phase to work with project teams in a planning process with Aboriginal staff who will be delivering programs;
h) use an interdisciplinary approach that includes outside resource people and knowledgeable, trained professionals in order to provide programming with respect, love and concern;
i) provide adequate training and professional development opportunities for staff and volunteers;
j) ensure that Non-Aboriginal consultants involved in team planning have completed Aboriginal cultural awareness training.
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