With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario recommends a full day Early Learning Program for four- and five-year-old children in Ontario, staffed by a team of educators skilled in facilitating learning for four- and five-year-old children. The Early Learning Program provides a universally-available, school day program and fee-based extended day and summer programming, not as add-ons, but as a continuation of the learning environment.
Every Child, Every Opportunity describes the curriculum and pedagogy required for the Early Learning Program. It sets out an organized system of intentions and plans to encourage that reciprocity of learning among children, educators and parents and capitalizes on children's natural curiosity and exuberance for learning. It emphasizes how children and adults learn from each other.
Every Child, Every Opportunity is situated within the age 0-8 continuum of development promoted by Early Learning for Every Child Today, 2007 and is specifically designed for the transition from preschool into the primary grades. The goal is not to push academic work or learning expectations onto younger children but to identify and enhance the connections between the expectations and experiences that extend from the Early Learning Program into the primary grades. The process is the product as children strengthen their social, emotional, language, cognitive and physical competencies resulting in greater success in first grade and beyond. It is the connector between earliest childhood programs and the primary grades and binds the experience of school, home and community.
Every Child, Every Opportunity is based on the Summary of Evidence and builds on the Kindergarten Program, 2006 (revised) and Early Learning for Every Child Today, 2007.
Every Child, Every Opportunity is made up of three interconnected elements:
-Principles- are based on the vision for all children in Our Best Future in Mind and current research findings reported in the Summary of Evidence.
-Practice of Interaction- outlines the pedagogy of educators - how educators can put the principles into effective practice and make learning happen.
-Essential Outcomes- describe developmental and learning outcomes, how children might demonstrate those outcomes in the Early Learning Program and at home and examples of interactions that support those outcomes.
The final section of this document outlines recommended next steps to expand and use Every Child, Every Opportunity in Ontario's Early Learning Program.