Nothing is set in stone yet, but as the Doug Ford government looks at tackling the provincial deficit, it has mused about possible education cuts – among them, full-day kindergarten.
Lori Ridley-Whyte is the regional president of the Elementary Teachers Federation, covering the area between Temagami and Hearst.
She says three- and four-year-olds don’t enter school to sit at desks. They are involved in play-based learning.
“To build those skills around self-reliance and critical problem solving is so important,” she opines, “(and) by sacrificing this learning environment for our children, it’s only for short-term financial gain and their future is too important.”
Ridley-Whyte says a half-day doesn’t give teachers enough time to cover the curriculum.
“With the play-based learning, it’s so important for the children to access these skills and build the self-reliance that they’re going to need later on.”
Ridley-Whyte adds that eliminating full-day kindergarten would result in crowding in home-based daycare.