Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

All-day kindergarten set for 2010: McGuinty

Premier Dalton McGuinty will announce today that it will take Ontariofive years to phase in a much-touted plan to offer all-day kindergartenfor all four- and five-year-olds, The Canadian Press has learned.

Premier Dalton McGuinty will announce today that it will take Ontario five years to phase in a much-touted plan to offer all-day kindergarten for all four- and five-year-olds, The Canadian Press has learned.

Some 35,000 kids — about 16 per cent of the eligible junior and senior kindergarten students in the education system — will be offered full-day learning next September, but the program will be fully implemented across the province by 2015, a government source said.

That will put it behind British Columbia, which plans to introduce full-day kindergarten for all five-year-olds by 2011.

“Full-day kindergarten is all about building the skills and education of tomorrow's workforce,” the government source said. “We’re doing this because it will make Ontario's economy stronger.”

It’s unclear how many schools will offer the program and which cities may see it start up next year. But the five-year time frame is longer than expected.

McGuinty had previously warned that it could take more than three years to implement the plan, which will eventually turn some schools into one-stop family centres that include everything from daycare to employment services.

Ontario has set aside $500 million over two years to phase in optional, all-day kindergarten, despite a deficit that’s expected to reach $24.7 billion this fiscal year.

Similarly, British Columbia plans to spend $151 million to start up its all-day kindergarten for five-year-olds next year despite its $2.8-billion deficit. Only half of those kids will have the option of an all-day program next year, but the government wants it available to all kindergarten students by 2011.

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec offer all-day kindergarten for five-year-olds. Ontario has part-day kindergarten for four-year-olds, but school is not mandatory until Grade 1.

 
 
You Might Also Like