Implementation of full day kindergarten in Ontario schools


Early learning investment key to recovery
People for Education, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, and Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario

QUEEN’S PARK, Oct. 27 /CNW/ – Today’s provincial government commitment to begin transforming early learning programs is a critical first step toward Ontario’s economic recovery and future prosperity, say public education and early learning advocates.

The announcement is a needed first step to implementing the transformative vision recommended last spring by the Premier’s early learning advisor Dr. Charles Pascal, which was widely applauded by parents, public educators and early learning providers.

“In these tough times it’s encouraging to see the government is sticking to a strategy that will be as good for families and children as it is for Ontario’s economic recovery,” says Annie Kidder, People for Education. “Early learning is one of the best stimulus investments a government can make to stem an economic downturn.

“Beginning the transformation of our schools into vibrant community hubs will pay off for generations to come. We must stick to the full vision laid out in the Pascal report, so that Ontario becomes a world leader in early learning innovation.”

Andrea Calver, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, says today’s announcement represents the first new provincial investment in early learning in about two decades.

“There is still a lot of work ahead to implement the Pascal blueprint but today’s commitment is a green light to municipalities, school boards and the early learning sector to move forward on making the vision a reality,” Calver says. “It’s time to get to work.”

“We are more than ready to partner with teachers to create a team-based approach to providing Ontario’s children the best full-day early learning experience possible,” says Diane Kashin, Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario. “That’s the vision in the Pascal report and it’s one we’re committed to, because it’s best for children.”


Ontario Federation of Labour
Oct 27, 2009

TORONTO –(Marketwire – Oct. 27, 2009) – “The implementation of full day kindergarten in Ontario schools is really welcome news,” says Wayne Samuelson, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour. “This program represents a truly important piece of the childcare puzzle.”

Today’s long awaited announcement on full day kindergarten is a major step toward the sort of seamless early learning strategy recommended by Dr. Charles Pascal in the Ontario government commissioned report With Our Best Future in Mind. The Pascal Report was widely praised by educators, parents and public policy experts for its vision using schools to create holistic, community-based early learning hubs for children from age 0-12.

“Full day learning will give four and five year old children a real leg up in early childhood development and education, which is great for the children and their families,” says Samuelson. “But this also presents new economic opportunities for many families struggling through tough times. It’s also a tremendously valuable source of direct economic stimulus to aid on the path to recovery.”

Knowing that their children will be well cared for on a full day basis will open new possibilities of full time employment and educational upgrading for many parents, especially mothers. Public policy experts and poverty reduction advocates have long recognized that investments in childcare and early learning will have a significant and long term impact in the fight against poverty.

“It’s important to remember though, that this only represents one piece of the puzzle. The government must now commit to fully implementing the rest of the recommendations in the Pascal Report. That means expanding programs to include all children in the 0-12 age range, and further investment to fully support transforming schools into vibrant hubs of their communities.”

“Especially in tough economic times, we need to recognize the difference between a real investment and a mere expenditure. Money spent on early education will result in more opportunities for children, more opportunities for parents, and more opportunity for the creation of good jobs. That’s a real investment in our future,” says Samuelson.


Children Will Benefit From Government Decision on Early Learning
Elementary Teachers’ Federation Of Ontario

TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ – The model that the provincial government has chosen for full-day kindergarten – a teacher at the front of the classroom all day supported by an early childhood educator – is in the best interests of Ontario children, say Ontario teachers.

The government’s decision meets Ontarians’ expectations for full-day kindergarten. A recent Environics poll confirmed that parents and the public overwhelmingly favour the presence of a certified teacher in the classroom for a full day.

“We commend the government for its commitment to the welfare of young children. The decision took a lot of courage in today’s economic environment, but it will pay a lifetime of rewards, not only for children, but for our communities and the economy,” said Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario President Sam Hammond.

“Today’s announcement ensures that children and their parents will get the best educational program,” Hammond said.

“The kindergarten classroom is where children begin their journey in school. What they learn here sets the foundation for future success. Pairing a certified teacher with a trained early childhood educator will create the best learning environment for building that foundation.”

Certified teachers understand how to use play-based learning to develop children’s foundational skills and help them prepare for the more formal training that begins in grade 1. They understand the curriculum and how what happens in kindergarten is linked to learning in later primary grades. Many kindergarten teachers also have special training to help them understand how children learn and grow.

“Early childhood educators will bring a special set of skills and expertise to the kindergarten classroom. ETFO members look forward to their support to benefitting the learning of four- and five year-old children,” said Hammond.