The ABCs of full-day Kindergarten
As schools around the province welcome back students for another year, NDP Education Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) says it’s time for government to look seriously at introducing full-day kindergarten to the province.
“The most obvious benefit is to parents, who have to contort their work schedules for a year to accommodate this outmoded model of delivering primary education,” said Kirby. “The experience in other provinces clearly demonstrates undeniable academic advantages for the children themselves. And full-day kindergarten, as an extension of universal childcare, has proven its value in jurisdictions ranging from Quebec to Norway.”
Ontario introduced full-day Kindergarten in 2010; University of Toronto researchers found that students in all-day senior kindergarten scored significantly higher than their half-day peers on tests relating to literacy, numeracy and fine motor skills.
“Let’s face it,” Kirby said. “We are short-changing our children with our old-style education delivery. Another issue is that many parents – particularly mothers – are forced to withdraw from the workforce for a few years because of government’s unreasonable refusal to move forward with modern childcare and kindergarten needs.
“I have talked to hundreds if not thousands of parents in the last year, and I can assure you that not one of them is in favour of the current inadequate half-day kindergarten schedule.”