OECTA: Full-day Kindergarten will help families provide a better future for

TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ - The full-day Kindergarten model announced today will help Ontario families provide a better future for their children, says James Ryan, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA). "We applaud the government for its leadership in improving education opportunities and services to children and their families.

In spite of the current economic stresses, investing in early learning has substantial economic, social and academic benefits, Ryan says. "Research shows that for every dollar invested, there is an $11 return. Research also indicates that problem solving skills, as well as language, literacy and socio-emotional development are enhanced in children who are enrolled in full-day Kindergarten."

A full-day program is a first step towards leveling the playing field for children, thus equipping them with greater chances of success. "Research also shows that children do best when they spend their days in a class with a teacher."

"Teachers welcome Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) as a part of a full-time integrated team that will work together to meet the needs of every student," Ryan adds. "ECEs will help teachers deliver a quality, age-appropriate program - and that would improve the program."

Ryan notes that nine Catholic school boards offer full-day Kindergarten, even though they have not received dedicated provincial funding. "These successful programs can be used as maps for implementation of full-day programs across the province."

Ryan says that Catholic teachers look forward "to participating in the consultation process that will help define implementation and ultimate success of the program." OECTA is urging the government to implement the program slowly, thoughtfully and judiciously. "It is better to expand current programs, start new programs in targeted areas and establish thoughtful implementation timelines than to implement an inferior model quickly. We want the best program possible for Ontario's children. Catholic teachers have considerable experience to contribute to the planning process," Ryan says.

OECTA represents the 45,000 women and men who teach from kindergarten through high school in Ontario's publicly funded English Catholic schools. www.oecta.on.ca

SOURCE Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

For further information: For further information: James Ryan, President, (416) 925-2493 X 418 or Mobile: (416) 400-8327

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Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

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