TORONTO – A new poll suggests the majority of Canadians support a proposal to combine daycare and kindergarten into a single full-day program in Ontario and would like to see a similar system in their provinces.
The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey found more than 70 per cent of respondents liked the plan for four and five year olds, especially women between the ages of 35 and 50.
The idea was most popular in Atlantic Canada and B.C., dipping slightly in Quebec – a province that already has a $7-a-day daycare option.
Ontario’s plan would give parents the option to leave children at school from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., for a fee.
Premier Dalton McGuinty says he’s pleased the plan has broad support because it shows Ontario residents and Canadians understand the importance of giving kids a strong start.
The telephone survey of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between June 18 and June 21 and is considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
No specifics have been provided about the cost of Ontario’s plan and McGuinty has admitted he did not know how much it would cost.
The Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario has criticized the plan for replacing qualified teachers in kindergarten with staff that have lower credentials.