Teachers Applaud Budget Support of Early Learning and Child Care

TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - Today's provincial budget confirms the McGuinty government's ongoing commitment to the education and healthy development of Ontario's young children, says the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

"We commend the government for its commitment to the welfare of young children. The confirmation of funding for the full-day kindergarten program is a courageous step in today's economic environment, but it will pay a lifetime of rewards, not only for children, but for communities and the economy," said ETFO President Sam Hammond.

Hammond also applauded the government's decision to provide $63.5 million to replace the federal funding for child care that expires on April 1.

"Like Ontario's investment in full-day kindergarten, support for child care is key to the healthy development of young children and to the ability of parents to work, retrain, or attend school. This investment will assist economic recovery and give thousands of children the early childhood education and care they need to thrive and succeed," said Hammond.

The phasing-in of full-day early learning for kindergarten-aged children over the next six years will establish Ontario as an educational leader within North America, while creating an estimated 3,800 additional teaching positions and 20,000 positions for early childhood educators, jobs that will support every community across Ontario.

Funding for regulated child care will provide a reprieve for 7,600 subsidized child-care spaces and several thousand child-care sector jobs that were at risk of disappearing.

"Our federation will continue to press the federal government to restore funding for child care," Hammond said.

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, (416) 962-3836 (Office); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416) 962-3846 (office), (416) 948-0195 (cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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