Phase One: Full-Day Learning for Four- and Five-Year-Olds
January 12, 2010
In September, full-day learning for four- and five-year-olds will be available in nearly 600 schools across every school board in Ontario. This means up to 35,000 kindergarten students across Ontario will be enrolled in full-day learning
The list of schools is available at Ontario.ca/EarlyLearning. School boards will soon begin registering for the 2010-11 school year–– including the integrated before- and after-school program.
The program will be phased in over time starting this September and will be expanded in stages with a goal of having it fully implemented
Phase one recommendations
School boards worked with other local school boards and municipalities to make their recommendations. Together, they reviewed possible schools using ministry guidelines, including:
An integrated day
Teachers and early childhood educators will work together to help children learn during the regular school day. Working side-by-side, these educators will create a welcoming environment where children can learn, play and grow.
Parents will also have the option to enrol their child in the school's integrated extended day fee-based option that provides before- and after-school programming, (for example, 7– 9 a.m. and 3:30 – 6 p.m.). The extended-day program will be led by registered Early Childhood Educators who share the school day portion of the program and are available before and after school. Subsidies will be available to some families based on need. Fees will be determined locally by boards.
The new full-day early learning program for four- and five-year-olds is based on existing programs and Dr. Charles Pascal's advice. Through instruction and play-based learning, children will develop their capacity in language and mathematics, build a strong foundation for future learning, engage in healthy physical activities and the arts, and develop socially and emotionally through interaction with their peers and the adults who teach and guide them. This will provide our youngest students with opportunities to socialize with their peers and develop the academic and social skills necessary for school, including laying the foundation for each child's reading, writing and math skills.
Broader vision for Ontario's children and families
Dr. Pascal's June report, “With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario” contained a number of recommendations including how to introduce full-day learning for Ontario's four- and five-year olds, how to improve education for children up to 12 and how to increase and improve supports for young families, through more cost-effective and timely children's services.
The introduction of full-day learning for four- and five-year olds in September 2010 is the next step in Ontario's plan to improve education and build a stronger workforce.