children playing

Newfoundland and Labrador: All-day kindergarten

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CBC Newfoundland
Publication Date: 
31 Aug 2011

Excerpts from the video:

According to the government of Newfoundland and Labrador's own research, there is public support for all-day kindergarten, something the province currently doesn't have.

The government is studying the idea of expanding kindergarten but is saying very little about it.

CBC News filed an access to information request to find out more.

CBC News asked for the full draft of the early childhood education strategy the government promised in 2010.

Two documents were released. One on the existing research the government looked at and another on the feedback it got from the public.

The research generally supports all-day kindergarten and the feedback shows that many parents would prefer it.

Beth Stuart Batten said splitting the day between daycare and kindergarten didn't work for her son.

"He found that difficult, switching his routine from morning to afternoon every month," she said.

Some people in the business of caring for and educating children also like the idea of all-day kindergarten.

"Oh, I think it could be wonderful. People wonder: are the children ready for all that kindergarten? It never bothers me about the children. Are the schools and the teachers ready for all that kindergarten?" said Mary Walsh, the owner of day care centre in Kelligrews and president of the province's association of early childhood educators.

She fears the school system might be slow to adopt the learning-through-play approach that she said kindergarten-aged children respond to best.

"If it's in your hand, it's in your heart, and then it's in your brain and that's the only way it really happens," she said.

Right now, Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province that doesn't provide all-day kindergarten - Stuart Batten said it's time to make the move.

"I look forward to it. It would make it a lot easier for my second son, for sure," she said.