Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

My dad and his wife are in western Canada right now.  As a retired minister I assume he’s preaching in some of our denominational churches. (I should know…sorry dad). He sent me a photo of my childhood friend Jennifer, who moved there with her family in her later teens.  She comes from a family of over 10 siblings and it was said that no one was turned away for Sunday lunch of dutch meatball soup. Her mom would just add more water.

I had to think of that in a meeting today where the consultant challenged our community to do more with less by “watering down the soup”.  Is this really the best direction for our community?  When everyone gets a little and not really what they need or deserve.  Will that be enough to make a difference?

A few years ago I attended a keynote with Paul Kershaw “Generation squeeze”. He resembled a charismatic preacher on a Sunday morning sharing a message that as society we need to make an investment of significance to make any kind of changing impact.  He argued that dribble and drabs of funds might as well not happen at all, as they make no lasting difference.

Closer to home my organization has made some bold investments like offering a significant premium wage to our educators who work split shifts. Another example; doubling the hours of our assistant supervisors to provide much needed relief to centre supervisor’s & provide them with an opportunity to be in the classrooms supporting educators on a regular basis.  These are bold & brave decisions which promote ROI. (Return On Investment.)

Nevertheless, despite increasing public investment
in K-12 education, there remains a
persistent tolerance in our society for poor
quality care and education in the early childhood
period. In this context, scientific evidence
indicates that for children to reach their full
potential, communities need to support the
capacity of all families to provide a variety of
stimulating and appropriate experiences in the
earliest years, when a child’s brain is optimally
programmed to benefit from specific types of
experiences, and then build on that sturdy brain
foundation through continuous exposures
to high quality, age-appropriate experiences
throughout the later school-age years.

 “The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child” 

I understand the concept of “tightening the belt”.  I believe in combing, sifting & brainstorming ways to do more with less.  What makes me uneasy is spreading existing services over a greater number being served.  I wonder if it’s a numbers game which is so familiar to politics?

Why would we consider a lunch of a single floating meat ball in a bowl of hot water?  I’ll have a veggie, noodle, meatball filled bowl of goodness with a piece of buttered white bread and Gouda cheese.




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