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Managing the impacts of full day kindergarten on rural childcare centres in Ontario

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Udenigwe, Ogochukwu
Publication Date: 
1 Dec 2013



This thesis examined the impacts of full day kindergarten (FDK) in rural childcare centres as well as how these impacts are managed at the local level. The introduction of FDK in Ontario has generally been seen as a positive step; however, it has been observed that FDK implementation will have differentiated impact across the province. Rural areas are more likely to bear a heavier burden due to system change than their urban counterparts because they already face challenges in the early childhood sector. This exploratory study involved semi-structured interviews with seven Consolidated Municipal Service Managers (CMSMs) who described their roles in planning for and supporting rural early learning and childcare services. Furthermore, interviews were conducted with nine rural childcare centre directors who highlighted their strategies for managing the challenges presented by the introduction of FDK. Findings reveal that the most pressing problems facing the rural childcare sector are insufficient funding, fluctuating enrollments, and staffing challenges. Several CMSMs reported taking actions to aid rural communities. Several directors acknowledged the support of their municipal government but noted unsolved issues. Centre directors report many strategies they have used to maintain centre viability, some of which are additional marketing and promotion of their centres, developing business acumen, and improving staff benefits in order to attract and retain qualified early childhood educators (ECE).