Ontarians Want Full-day Kindergarten Taught by Certified Teachers

    TORONTO, Aug. 17 /CNW/ - The people of Ontario have strong opinions on
how the Ontario government initiative to introduce full-day learning for four-
and five-year old children should be structured, according to an Environics
survey of Ontarians' attitudes about early learning.
    When presented with three descriptions on the meaning of full-day
Kindergarten, a vast majority of Ontarians believe it involves having a
kindergarten teacher for the full-day. An overwhelming majority also feel that
it is important that full-day kindergarten programs continue to be delivered
by certified teachers. When asked to choose from four priorities for how the
government funding allocated for the program should be used, the majority of
Ontarians think it should involve a teacher for the full day.
    These findings are contained in the Environics Research Group report
"Ontarians' Attitudes toward Early Learning" prepared for the Elementary
Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).
    "Clearly the majority of Ontarians feel that a full-day kindergarten
program that is taught by certified teachers is the best solution to meet the
learning needs of four- and five-year old children," said ETFO President David
Clegg. "This is what they expected when they heard the Premier's election
commitment for a full-day kindergarten program."
    Clegg points out that certified teachers are specifically trained to
provide the educational foundation for four- and five-year olds that will
prepare them for the more structured learning environment they will encounter
in later years. Teachers are also trained to identify and address literacy
problems and build math and social skills.
    "If Ontario truly wishes to be a leader in ensuring that all our children
get the best possible start in life, our children must begin their journey in
the best possible learning environment. Ontarians are telling us that this
environment is one in which certified teachers occupy the critical role. This
means a class taught by a certified teacher, all day, every day."
    The Environics survey was carried out among 900 adult Ontarians from July
15-27. The margin of error for a survey of this magnitude is 3.3 percent, 19
times out of 20.

    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.

For further information:

For further information: David Clegg, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836
(Office), (416) 948-1592 (Cell); 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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