More Help For Busy Young Families

    Full-day Kindergarten Frees Up Spaces In Day Care, Saves Young Families
    Time And Money

    TORONTO, Sept. 21 /CNW/ - The Ontario Liberals' plan to introduce
full-day kindergarten, which will help give our kids the best start in life,
help busy Ontarians who are juggling work and child care responsibilities, and
save families money, Premier McGuinty said today.
    "Many parents find themselves juggling the demands of a busy career with
the responsibility of raising young children, so places where kids get quality
care are particularly important to moms and busy young families," said the
Premier at the Debbie Yeung Child Care centre at Woodgreen Community Services.
    "Moving to a full-day of kindergarten will help our kids succeed in
school down the road, save families time and money and free up thousands of
licensed child care spaces."
    Full-day kindergarten would free up 20,000 spaces for children four years
old and under, as well as 8,000 child care subsidies. It would also save young
families in large cities about $6,400 per child each year in child care costs.
    "For working parents, the years when our kids are young are both busy and
expensive. So we're acting to ease the burden on families today and help our
kids succeed tomorrow," said McGuinty.
    Full-day kindergarten also helps academic achievement in later grades.
    A recently published report in the Heinz School Review showed that
vocabulary scores in children who attended publicly-funded pre-school were 31%
higher than children without the program; math skills improved by 44%; and
print awareness by 85%. The study also found that, in order to obtain these
favourable results, the child must spend a minimum of 3 1/2 hours in the
preschool, five days a week.
    "Full-day preschool is good science," said Margaret McCain, co-author of
an important study on early years education. "Preschool is when children
develop the emotional and social skills needed to succeed in school."
    The move to full-day kindergarten will be overseen by an early learning
advisor who will report back to the Premier within one year of being appointed
concerning how it could be best phased in. Quebec, Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick have already moved to full-day kindergarten.
    "We've made a lot of progress in education over the past four years and
much of it has been particularly beneficial for students in the early years -
with smaller class sizes, better test scores and peace and stability in our
schools," said Premier McGuinty. "This is one way we can continue to build on
that strong foundation, continue to move education forward and build a better
quality of life for moms and their families all across Ontario."

    Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Ontario Liberal Party Media Relations, (416)
961-3800 Ext. 386,

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