Children Will Benefit From Government Decision on Early Learning

TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ - The model that the provincial government has chosen for full-day kindergarten - a teacher at the front of the classroom all day supported by an early childhood educator - is in the best interests of Ontario children, say Ontario teachers.

The government's decision meets Ontarians' expectations for full-day kindergarten. A recent Environics poll confirmed that parents and the public overwhelmingly favour the presence of a certified teacher in the classroom for a full day.

"We commend the government for its commitment to the welfare of young children. The decision took a lot of courage in today's economic environment, but it will pay a lifetime of rewards, not only for children, but for our communities and the economy," said Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario President Sam Hammond.

"Today's announcement ensures that children and their parents will get the best educational program," Hammond said.

"The kindergarten classroom is where children begin their journey in school. What they learn here sets the foundation for future success. Pairing a certified teacher with a trained early childhood educator will create the best learning environment for building that foundation."

Certified teachers understand how to use play-based learning to develop children's foundational skills and help them prepare for the more formal training that begins in grade 1. They understand the curriculum and how what happens in kindergarten is linked to learning in later primary grades. Many kindergarten teachers also have special training to help them understand how children learn and grow.

"Early childhood educators will bring a special set of skills and expertise to the kindergarten classroom. ETFO members look forward to their support to benefitting the learning of four- and five year-old children," said Hammond.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000 elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

SOURCE Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information: For further information: Sam Hammond, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836 (Office); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416) 962-3836 (Office), (416) 948-0195 (Cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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