ONTARIO, CANADA, NEWS RELEASE
January 12, 2011
Province’s “deeply appreciated” flexibility will provide Peel parents with more cost effective child care options, says Peel board chair
Change in direction shows the Ministry of Education, local elected provincial representatives listening to local needs of schools, parents
Peel District School Board trustees are applauding the changes made by the province to the full-day kindergarten program. In a letter to the minister of education sent today on behalf of the board, Chair Janet McDougald notes, “ I am writing to express our board’s support and appreciation of the province’s proposed legislative amendments that would give school boards the flexibility we need to enter into agreements with third-party operators to provide before- and/or after-school programs at schools hosting full-day kindergarten programs. This new flexibility will help ensure Peel families have access to high quality child care before and after the school day.
The proposed legislative amendments build on the strengths and partnerships that already exist in the community and provide parents a more cost-effective child care option. This change in direction shows the Ministry of Education, and our local elected provincial representatives are listening to the local needs of schools and parents. We want to assure you that this board is committed to the full-day kindergarten model, including the extended day, and that we will work with our providers to ensure the kind of seamless transition that is best for children. The flexibility is deeply appreciated.”
Continues McDougald, “As a board, we have been a long-standing and vocal advocate for early learning. We welcomed the government’s bold decision to move ahead with the program for all students in Ontario. There is no doubt about the powerful impact on learning this program will have now, and in the future, on our students, and on our communities.
We recognize the value of the full-day early learning program in helping to boost student success. It is why, during year one of implementation, no limits were set on enrolment within school boundaries and all parents interested in the program were able to register their children.”
In November, the board voted to defer 11 full-day kindergarten sites for year two until additional funding is made available. Highlights McDougald, “It is our genuine hope notice of the required funding will be received before staffing and registration deadlines in February so that these deferred sites can offer full-day kindergarten next year. Please let us know the level of funding we can anticipate so that we can inform our communities that are eagerly awaiting information on the status of programs for year two.”