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Majority of Canadians would like to see full-day kindergarten: poll [CA]

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Canadian Press
Publication Date: 
25 Jun 2009

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A new poll suggests the majority of Canadians would like their provinces to follow Ontario's lead and combine daycare and kindergarten into a single full-day program, a wish the plan's author says can easily be fulfilled.

A Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey found that 71 per cent of respondents said the plan for four and five year olds was either a good or very good idea. Ontario's plan was especially popular among women between the ages of 35 and 50.

The Ontario government plans to start phasing in optional, all-day kindergarten in 2010.

The idea was most popular in Atlantic Canada and B.C., dipping slightly in Quebec - a province that already has a $7-a-day daycare option.

"The proposal has traction nationwide, including in Ontario where the plan will be implemented," said Harris Decima senior vice-president Jeff Walker.

Some 1,000 respondents were also asked: Do you think your provincial government should introduce a similar program to enhance kindergarten and integrate it with daycare?

Nationwide, 70 per cent of respondents answered yes. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and B.C. respondents were the most enthusiastic with 74 per cent answering yes. Atlantic Canada was at 71 per cent, Alberta 70 per cent, and Quebec 65 per cent.


The poll found Canadians over the age of 50 were the most skeptical, with 59 per cent saying it is a good idea and 28 per cent a bad idea.

Conservative supporters were less likely than others to like the government's plan, with 64 per cent in favour compared to 80 per cent of Liberals, and 77 per cent of New Democrats.

The telephone survey of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between June 18 and June 21 and is considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

- reprinted from the Canadian Press