by Cheryl Jackson Wednesday November 23, 2011

Full-day kindergarten for all 4- and 5-year-olds is well on its way to becoming available to all Ontario families (except those whose children attend federally-funded First Nations schools. That's another story, and a sad one at that). Full-day kindergarten is largely due to The Early Years Study, co-authored by the late Fraser Mustard. The third installment, the Early Years Study 3, was just released and it goes even further, saying the goal should be to "expland publicly funded preschool education for all 2- to 5-year olds. It would be available, affordble, top-quality and voluntary. Parents would decide if and how often their children attend." 

So, what do you think? Would you send your child to school at age 2? What would you want that school to look like? How would you want your child to spend his day? And what advantage would that have over daycare, or one parent at home, or nanny, or whatever system you use now?

Also new in this report is the development of an Early Childhood Education Index that will provide regular reports on how each province and territory is promoting the goal that "all children from age 2 through to elementary school have access to high quality, early childhood education."  It measures things like access, learning environment and funding. In the 2011 Index, Ontario doesn't do very well at all, despite full-day kindergarten. Take a look at how Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island are doing. Hmmm...
 
We have video interviews with Dr. Fraser Mustard and Charles Pascal to help you understand Ontario's vision.  And please, share your thoughts.