FAQ About Full-Day Kindergarten


We know kindergarten is optional in all cases (6 years old is when mandatory schooling starts), but is it optional for parents to send their kids only half day in full-day kindergarten? Would it impact the value they get out of the program?
Full-day kindergarten is not mandatory. At the nearly 600 schools where FDK begins this September, parents can chose to remove their child for part of the day if that is what works best for them. Like existing kindergarten programs, parents will continue to have the choice about whether to enrol their four- and five-year olds in full-day kindergarten. In Ontario, children are required to attend school once they turn six years old. Although kindergarten is voluntary, 90 per cent of eligible children are enrolled.
Many boards that currently operate full-day kindergarten programs report that students who begin on a half-day model often transition to full-day by mid-fall, because they enjoy the program.
See the website Qa&As: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/kindergarten/whatelsedoineedtoknow.html
How is full-day kindergarten being funded and is this impacting other programs such as special needs education?
Full-day kindergarten is one of the most important investments we can make.  We have committed $200 million in 2010/2011 and $300 million for 2011/2012 for full-day kindergarten. As part of the 2010 Ontario Budget, the government announced the allocation of $245 million in capital funding over the next two years to implement full-day kindergarten.  These are new funds which have not been pulled from other programs or existing special needs funding.
We will ensure that students with special needs continue to receive the support they need. The Special Education Grant (SEG) continues to be enveloped and protected and provides for the incremental costs of programs and services for students with special education needs.
When can we expect FDK to be rolled out to all public school boards across Ontario?
Our goal is to fully phase in full-day kindergarten by 2015-16.  We hope to provide information about future phases of expansion sooner rather than later because we appreciate that parents, families and boards need to plan ahead.
What is play-based learning and how does it compare to day care?
During the regular school day, children are involved in many different kinds of activities designed to help young learners explore, discover and grow. They will have opportunities to initiate learning and play, as well as take part in more structured play-based learning under the guidance of a teacher and early childhood educator. Through play-based learning and small group instruction, children develop a strong foundation for learning in all areas, including language and math, engage in healthy physical activities and the arts, and develop socially and emotionally through interaction with their peers and the educators who guide them.
See the website: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/kindergarten/whatwillmychildlearnanddo.html
Will this impact employment rates for day-care centers and teachers across Ontario?
This initiative is expected to create more jobs. At full implementation, there will be approximately 3,800 teaching positions and up to 20,000 ECE positions staffed to support full-day kindergarten.
What is the limit of children per class room in full-day kindergarten?
Full-day kindergarten classes have an average of 26 students. There will be two qualified educators in the classroom - a teacher and an early childhood educator (ECE).
See the website Q&As: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/kindergarten/whatelsedoineedtoknow.html
How is the Ontario government solving the possible issue of space in schools that don't have the capacity to absorb children in full-day kindergarten?  
The government is providing $245 million in capital funding over the next two years to build new classrooms and renovate existing ones to support the implementation of full-day kindergarten. We estimate that the funding will support over 750 new full-day kindergarten classrooms through retrofits and additions, resulting in the creation of 19,500 full-day kindergarten spaces.
The government recognizes that further capital funding will be necessary to accommodate future phases of full-day kindergarten expansion.
See the website Q&As: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/kindergarten/whatelsedoineedtoknow.html
Additional information:

Information about play-based learning
Background research
Other questions about registration, transportation, etc.