Are BC teachers ready for more kids in all-day kindergarten? Government says last year’s intro went well; BCTF concerned about funding

Andrea Macpherson, NEWS1130

Almost twice the number of five-year-olds will be heading to all-day kindergarten this September. The government and teachers have differing views on how smooth this school year will be.

Education Minister George Abbott says last year’s introduction to the program went off without a hitch and the play-based learning structure will continue. “We’ve been very pleased with it. I think in terms of the planning, the execution by the school districts and so on… it’s all been very good.”

“There’s been a lot of work with the educators… The teachers are pleased with it. Parents, from everything we’ve heard, are very pleased with it, as well.”

Meanwhile, Susan Lambert with the BC Teachers Federation is concerned for a number of reasons this fall.

“A lack of training for kindergarten teachers that are now expected to teach a full day instead of a half day, which is very, very different. There’s been no training for that. There was also no funding for full day [kindergarten], and there are different facilities that you need… there is no new funding this coming year.”….

Forty-thousand students will enter all day Kindergarten in September, compared to 24,000 last year.