Ontario’s Kindergarten Program: A Success Story

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, January 2021

Excerpt: "Ontario’s current government has discussed making some drastic changes to Full-Day Kindergarten. Any one of these changes would dramatically alter the current model and significantly damage an already successful program. In early 2019, there was a flurry of news reports about possible reforms:

  • larger class sizes in Kindergarten;
  • reducing or eliminating university-educated certified teachers in Kindergarten;
  • abolishing public-school-based, universally available Full-Day Kindergarten andinstead subsidizing some form of early learning through child care centres (without university-educated teachers);
  • replacing Full-Day Kindergarten with a half-day program.

The Government of Ontario, under pressure from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and from many parents and families, has now guaranteed that Full-Day Kindergarten will be maintained in its current form until at least 2022.  The current Kindergarten model is an excellent one and is working well.

The research on children and families tells us that:

A.  Early childhood is a vital time for investing in children’s development;
B.  Kindergarten is good for children, parents and society;
C.  When Kindergarten is of particularly high quality, its effects are even better;
D.  Kindergarten has a big role to play in reducing inequality;The current Kindergarten model is an excellent one and is working well.
E.  Full-Day Kindergarten programs have been proven to be better than half-day Kindergarten programs;
F.  Ontario’s Model of Full-Day Kindergarten is especially positive for children and parents;
G.  Full-Day Kindergarten is often where children’s educational needs are first discovered and addressed;
H.  Increasing class sizes will lower Kindergarten quality;
I.  Lowering teacher education qualifications will lower Kindergarten quality; and
J.  Ontario’s Full-Day Kindergarten is already delivered in a cost-effective way."

Access the Executive Summary HERE

Access the Full Report HERE

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