Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ontario - Doing Kindergarten Right

Both BC and Ontario will see full day K classes this fall. While BC has adopted the "ontario model" with respect to curriculum, they have fallen far short on funding.

In Ontario, K will be offered half day to four year olds and full day for five year olds next year. While there are blended junior K/senior K classes, there will be no blending or splitting with Grade 1 classes. The government recognizes that the two programs don't mix.

In addition, the Ontario government is implementing a before and after school care program with integration to schools and classrooms. Each program will have qualified Early Childhood Educators who begin the day with students and go with them into the classroom, as an additional educator along with the teacher. At noon, a second ECE will join the class and this educator goes with the students to the after school care. This provides continuity for the children and it means there will always be both a teacher and and Early Childhood Educator in each classroom.

Finally, the Ontario government has recognized that expanding the Kindergarten program means new classrooms are needed. A capitol funding program is in place to allow Districts to add additional space to schools rather than rely on portables.

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