Professional Development (PD) days for teachers are not always good for parents, especially those who run their own businesses. The idea behind these days is for teachers to get a chance to upgrade their skills and learn new, more effective teaching techniques. But the negative side is that parents who work full time are having to scramble to find alternative child care.

For parents of school-aged children who work for large companies that offer them the option to use a “sick day” for family obligations, or allow a “flexible holiday” so they can stay at home with their children, this is not a problem. However, for people who own their own business or work for a small company that needs to staff their office space Toronto on an ongoing basis, these PD days are a huge problem.

The perception of many parents is that these PD days do not make it mandatory for teachers to actually attend professional development activities. They often hear through friends and family (who know teachers) that instead of taking the day to learn and develop on a professional level, many teachers will take the day to get personal business done or participate in other activities. Whether this is true or not, the perception is out there simply because professional development activities are not mandatory for teachers.

On this particular PD day, many people who have small businesses that rent downtown Toronto office space cannot afford to close up shop on the Friday of an already long weekend. The “Family Day” holiday that falls on Monday is only observed in Ontario, so any business who deals with customers outside of Ontario has to stay open and not take the day off. One exception is the U.S.A. which observes President’s Day on Monday. A four-day weekend for teachers and students may be good for them, but with two days of potential hardship for small business owners, who is really benefiting?

Many parents, especially those who work for or own small businesses who have office space for rent Toronto, wonder why these professional development days are not held during the summer months when schools are closed for summer break. During the summer months is when most parents can plan in advance to have alternative child care arrangements in place.