Full-Day Kindergarten

Full-day kindergarten in 2010 and 2011

A group of Social Media woman met with the Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty and the Assistant Deputy Minister - Early Learning Division, Jim Grieve. Today's discussion was an open forum regarding the Ontario Full Day Kindergarten program, we were invited to share, build relationships and  to inspire action. We brought our personal experience and reached out to the Premier as a Mom and a member in the growing province. The Premier stated his motto is "help keep people informed" and "help them think" Ontario is trying to improve the quality of public education.

As I stated I was invited as a member of the community and a Mother of four, with one entering SK this fall. I did not bring politics  into the talks, I strongly believe that politics and religion are subjects that should not be debated. I honestly learned a lot about the Full-Day Kindergarten and wanted to share this information while it is still fresh in my mind.

What is Full Day Kindergarten

Ontario is beginning to implement Four and Five year olds in this new innovated program

Before and after school will be available the hours will be 7:00am to 6:00pm - these hours are not mandatory the extra hours of  before and after school programs designed to complement the regular school day. They will charge a reasonable fee ranging from $15.00 to $29.00 a day (roughly) a day. Financial assistance will be available for families that qualify, this program will be available at a school that is in demand.

Full-Day kindergarten is optional but research shows the impact early learning can have on children. School in Ontario is not mandatory until the age of six and this program is fully optional. Your child will be enrolled in the Full-Day Program and parents have the option to pick them up early eg - 12:00pm states Jim Grieve. McGuinty and Grieve also stated that the Full-Day Learning is an innovation.

Presently there will be only 600 schools implementing this program. Schools with high numbers will be the last to rollout for the Full-day Program. All schools should have this Full-Day program by 2015. Here is a list of schools presently offering the Full-Day Kindergarten. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/kindergarten/fulldaykindergartenschools2.asp

Why Should You Enroll Your Child in the Full-Day Kindergarten Program

In full-day kindergarten, your child will benefit from:
A stronger start in school
A full day of learning early in life can help improve your child's reading, writing and math skills and provide a strong foundation for future learning. It also makes the transition to Grade 1 easier for both you and your child. When the introduction to school is an enjoyable experience, your child is naturally inclined to learn and will be eager to be part of the school experience.
More time with classmates
During the regular school day, your child will benefit from being able to socialize with other children and develop the academic and social skills necessary for future success. In addition, the program running before and after school hours will complement what your child learns and does during the regular school day.
A seamless and integrated day
Your child will remain in familiar surroundings with staff and friends, rather than moving between different programs and locations.

The classrooms will have a cap of 26 average students with a ratio of 13-1 or 26-2 Teachers and ECE's

Regular School Day

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.

The teacher and early childhood educators are guided by a curriculum document based on the existing kindergarten program and research and other early learning curricula.

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.

Through informal meetings, parent conferences or written reports, parents will receive regular updates that include comments on the child's learning. The reports also include suggestions for parents to support their child's learning.

Key Facts about the Full-Day Program

"Children need appropriate supports to help prepare them to make the transition to Grade One"

27% of Ontario Children are considered vulnerable when they enter Grade One - physical health and well being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development, including communication and general knowledge. Refer to the With Our Best Future in Mind article http://www.ontario.ca/en/initiatives/early_learning/ONT06_018876h

Lastly McGuinty stated " this is a wonderful new option for our community, that has strong economic and is a win win"

 Now what are your thoughts on the Full-Day Program? 



Premier talks with Social Media Moms about the Full-Day Program here

Providing Families With More Options For Before- And After-School Programs

"December 15, 2010 

McGuinty Government Improving Full-Day Kindergarten Program

Parents will soon have more flexible options for the before- and after-school programs for children enrolled in full-day kindergarten.

This year, a third of schools offering full-day kindergarten also offer before- and after-school programs run by third parties, such as the YMCA and Family Day Care Services. This is working well for families and that's why the government plans to introduce legislation that would, if passed, give school boards the option to deliver before- and after-school programs directly, or to make agreements with third-party providers to offer these programs on an ongoing basis.

These changes would allow these successful partnerships to continue and ensure that families have access to seamless, high-quality programs that are consistent with the full-day kindergarten framework and are offered on school sites.

Before- and after-school programs for full-day kindergarten - whether offered by the school board or a third-party provider - provide continued care for our youngest students and help make life a little easier on working parents.

Helping students reach their full potential is part of the Open Ontario Plan. Students who achieve early success in school are more likely to perform well later in school and go on to postsecondary education. This ensures that Ontario will have a skilled workforce to compete in the global economy."