Parents and child care centres welcome full-day kindergarten


Full-day kindergarten about education

Annie Kidder, executive director of the group People for Education said that the new full-day learning program is based on current brain research and combines "everything we know about early childhood education and childcare."  Kidder also said that the program will help children develop self regulation which will help them in school in later years. (video 3:42)
To access the People for Education website, click here.  

Paul Bliss on full-day kindergarten (video 2:23)

"Schools will be asked to accomodate children during the summer, spring break and P.A. Days for daycare."
"They wanted to focus on neighbourhoods with new Canadians, immigrants and low income families in order to give those parents a hand."

Etobicoke parents' reactions to the announcement:
"Saves some parents some time and money and maybe they can go out there and work."
"For Senior, but not for Junior. They are too small."
"That'd be great. Hopefully I can take advantage of it."

Vanessa Lee on full-day learning (video 2:06)

"Many parents are thrilled with the idea."
Robin Matsunaga, "I think it'll be great because she's quite ready for it and next year will be an adjustment for me to find what to do with myself as a full-time mom so far, but I think it's great."
"Business is asking more time for me and for me it's perfect," Juan Higuera.
Education Minister, Kathleen Wynne says the program will benefit parents because they "will be able to drop them off before work and pick them up after school."

To see the full videos, click here.


The Standard (St. Catherines): Parents applaud launch of full-day kindergarten

About $4 million will filter down to Niagara this fall to pay for extra staff needed for the program.
Even with a mounting provincial deficit, St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley said the costly early-learning program is a worthy investment.
Many children will have more success in school because of the early intervention in their education, Bradley said
The changes will also offer continuity for many children who may find themselves shuffled to day care and school and back every day and give working parents more options, Germyn said.
To do that, Germyn estimates the public school board will have to hire about 75 early-childhood educators to teach classes and run before- and after-school programs.
The extended day option is welcome news for parent Sharon Piluke, whose four-year-old son, Andrew, is in junior kindergarten at Memorial School in St. Catharines.
Currently on maternity leave, Piluke is returning to work this spring. She said she likes the idea that the same teacher and early-childhood educators will be with Andrew all day once the early learning program is introduced to the Welland Avenue school in September.
"Just to have the continuity of the full day is great," said Piluke, whose son is currently also in a half-day day-care program.
The program is going to mean big changes for the region's day cares, which will likely see a mass migration of four- and five-year-olds as parents opt for in-school options, said Kathryn O'Hagan-Todd, Niagara Region's director of children's services.
Day-care providers may have to shift their focus to younger children or those six years and up to fill vacant spots, said O'Hagan-Todd, who oversees all licensed child-care programs in Niagara.
But O'Hagan-Todd said she's supportive of the government's plan, and thinks it will benefit children and families, especially those who have lower incomes.
"This is a good opportunity for children and particularly disadvantaged children that wouldn't otherwise have an opportunity at a high-quality early-learning environment because of cost barriers and availability," O'Hagan-Todd said.
Memorial School kindergarten teacher Allyson Slee said a full-day of learning will give an extra boost to children who may not get all the support they need at home.

For full article, click here.


The Standard (St. Catherines): Child care centres welcome full-day kindergarten

Child care providers believe that the full-day learning program will have benefits for children, but they do admit that there will be changes in the local child care sector.

The owner of Mike's Daycare in Thorold expects to lose some business since nearly half of the children enrolled in his home day care are within the impacted four- and five-year-old age group. Nevertheless, he's willing to make less money if it means children have better learning options.
"You've got to put the kids first," Mike White, 28, said. "If it means I'll have younger kids, then that's what I'll do."

Janet St. Amand, a vice-president with YMCA of Niagara, feels her organization would "complement" a full day of kindergarten by continuing to provide after-school services for children in other age groups. She said the YMCA, which operates 52 licensed centres in the region, collaborated with local school boards around the idea.

Claudia Hoekert, an early childhood educator with ABC Daycare in St. Catharines, believes her group's size will enable it to adapt easily to the new reality compared to other child care providers.

Kathryn O'Hagan Todd, Niagara Region's director of children's services, said she's supportive of the government's full-day kindergarten plan.
"We would expect some overall changes," O'Hagan Todd said.  "We're going to look quite different by the time this roll-out is completed over the next five years."  O'Hagan Todd said she's confident the Region can work with school boards to find the best child-care options for families.
"At the end of the day, we're all very supportive that this is a move in the right direction."

For full article, click here.