01/14/2010

The government is moving forward with the implementation of full day learning in Ontario.
The Premier announced 600 schools that will be the site for the first phase of implementation. Starting September 2010, 35,000 four and five year olds will have access to full day care.

Full day learning means that parents and children will have access to an integrated system of childcare and education. Before and after school care will be available for what has been described as a “reasonable fee”. Guidelines for parent fees on the extended day component are being considered by the government and school boards.

The government’s Early Learning and Child Care Initiative is aimed at improving educational readiness and long term educational achievements. Success in this area means a better educated work force. The initiative also, once fully implemented, will aim to assist in providing more access to childcare for Ontario’s families.

AMO supports the government’s commitment to moving forward on this important initiative. Full day kindergarten creates equal opportunity for all families and also recognizes that investment in children is an investment in Ontario’s future. Moving four and five year olds to a provincially funded, school based system will ensure high quality and adequately funded early learning for this group. AMO is hopeful that the transition phase will provide further opportunities to serve children under the age of four.

AMO is a member of the government’s Early Learning Implementation Advisory Group. This multi sector-working group will be advising the government through the implementation of early learning for four and five year olds. This forum provides an opportunity for problem identification and solving.

AMO’s intent is to see that an accountability framework is in place that will work for municipalities, the province, school boards, as well as parents and the public.