Teachers should deliver full-day learning program to 4- and 5-year olds

    TORONTO, June 15 /CNW/ - Ontario's Catholic teachers say that Dr. Charles
Pascal has missed a golden opportunity to deliver the best program for
Ontario's school age children.
    "The research and our own experience shows that a full-day Kindergarten
program delivered by certified teachers is superior to a half-day Kindergarten
and half-day child care program as is proposed," says Elaine Mac Neil,
president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA). Nine
Catholic School Boards currently deliver a successful full day program.
    Responding to the report, "With Our Best Future in Mind - Implementing
Early Learning in Ontario," OECTA says that a full-day of learning program
should provide opportunities for 4- and 5-year-olds to learn and that members
of the teaching profession must deliver this education, says Mac Neil.
"Teachers are best qualified to address the needs of their students and also
to provide the care they need," Mac Neil says. "Parents understand that
teachers are most suited to achieve both these goals and have confidence in
the profession to do so."
    OECTA's position on full-day Kindergarten has been consistent since Dr.
Pascal began his work. Certified teachers as defined under the Education Act
and regulations should deliver any expanded junior and senior Kindergarten
    "It is also clear that certified teachers, more so than
paraprofessionals, can provide both learning and care. Teachers can balance
learning through play and readying children for formal education. And finally,
the research shows that when programs are adequately funded children succeed,"
Mac Neil says. OECTA has presented this position in its brief and in
face-to-face meetings with Dr. Pascal.
    Mac Neil says that currently children entering Grade 1 bring a wide
variety of experiences. "In addition to their varied socio-economic
backgrounds, there are also substantial variances in their cognitive,
emotional and social abilities. A full-day Kindergarten program provides an
opportunity to level the playing field for every child, thus equipping them
with greater chances of success."

For further information:

For further information: Elaine Mac Neil, President, (416) 925-2493 X
417 or Mobile: (416) 400-8324

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Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

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