Full-day Kindergarten in Ontario

*quotes taken from The Guardian newspaper on Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I seem to be one of very few people bothered by this. It rubs me the wrong way. It makes me realize  that parents of small children really have very little choice, since all the emphasis is to warehouse the kids rather than support the parents and let THEM make the choice as to what may be best for their kids.

Here are some quotes from the Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne that are keeping me up at night:

  • …a regular school day program led by a teacher and early childhood educator working on a new play-based program tailored to help four- and five-year-olds learn and grow.

Program? Children at that age need a program from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed?

  • …it is imperative to get all children no matter their background, into the classroom as early as possible.

Why do they have to do their learning in a classroom at age four and five?

  • …the kids who are going to be the employers and the employees…etc and so we need to give them the best start possible.

So the kids NEED to be in a classroom in order to get the best start possible? The stay-at-home parent is offering her kids a disadvantage by keeping them home?

Here is what Minister of Children and Youth Services Laurel Broten says (who has preschooler twins, if I’m not mistaken):

  • A full day of learning means a full day of guidance and instruction from those who know how kids learn best.

So a certified teacher, possibly one that has no children of his or her own, is better equipped to teach a four and five year old how to learn 8 hours per day in a structured environment than a stay-at-home parent who is going to be spending his or her day tuning in to daytime TV while the kids watch Nickelodeon on a TV in their play- or bedroom.

Both of these women then spend some time talking about how the “integrated curriculum” of “extended day programs” before and after school will only benefit those children more.

While this is going on, we get a nice little note from the federal government telling us that hey, by the way, we owe them $500 of money they have given us in the form of a Child Tax credit. They made a mistake based on their calculations and we should send them a check immediately or face a penalty.

While Javadad heads out to work, I stay at home and make do with just enough money to manage, and instead of support from our government who is already taxing us up the yingyang, we get penalized.

What happened to childhood?

The message is clear:

Get a job Javamom and put your kids in full-day Kindergarten with extended learning opportunities before and afterwards so that I give them the best start to become a contributing member of society.


8 thoughts on “Full-day Kindergarten in Ontario

  1. Often the same pressure is experienced by parents a plenty here in the States.

    The message: “Oh, silly parents. Don’t you know the government can do a better job raising your children than you ever could? Come on now, hand ’em over.”

    This goes not just for education, but health, diet, creativity, reading, and safety.

    It’s sad that we need to have and organization that will legitamately rescue children from abusive homes… but I have some friends who were randomly reported to our child protection services by a stranger who lives in another state because of a comment made on Facebook! As of 2008 the CPS in Texas employed 370 some people with serious criminal backgrounds!

    It’s weird that I feel I need to protect my children from all the “do-gooders!”

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    Feel free to visit my blog about my parenting experienced

  2. Is it any wonder that homeschooling is on the rise both in the USA and Canada?

    I flirt with the idea….but at least we North Americans have a choice. In some countries, the parents who dare to homeschool their kids get thrown in jail, and no, I’m not talking about some far-away Third World nation either!

    (Germany comes to mind).

    Thank you for your comment Jeff.

  3. Guard your parental rights, guard them! I live in Germany and just before Christmas the government began again to put parents in jail ONLY for removing their children from sex-ed…

    People who homeschool in Germany risk having the state remove custodial rights over their children, heavy fines are almost definite and jail terms are likely.

    And the march to crunch down on parents and their rights is getting stronger and stronger here.

  4. Andrea, it’s so sad that no one in the high and mighty government offices making these rules is thinking about what the CHILD might feel when SNATCHED from his parents. Or when the parent gets to sleep in jail for a few days (weeks).

  5. I agree that the emphasis on children as future tax payers is missing the point. Children need to be nurtured as children, not as potential money-earners. I think, however, that a lot of the government rhetoric is aimed at those who claim that the government should not be spending money on more and better integrated early learning opportunities. They need to make the case that this is best for the children and that our children are an investment in everybody’s future.

    It sounds like you just want to choose to stay home with your kids and provide the best, most nurturing environment that you can. (And a bit of tax break wouldn’t hurt either, right?) That doesn’t change the fact that a “program” that focuses on free-play etc. is better than a “program” that would chain 4 year olds to a desk for hours at a time. Full-day kindergarten is the best option for the majority of Ontario families today — and lucky for you, it’s only an option.

    (Thank you for your thoughtful comment today, btw.)

  6. Sigh, Javamom, I am WITH YOU on this one. This is rediculous! I just feel that nobody, no matter how “edcuated” will KNOW my child better than I know my own child. What about the children who are “slow” or “advanced” for that matter…they will just get put in the shuffle. So happy that I have the choice to home educate.

  7. Scary article… very scary.

    I am a stay-home mum with two children aged 2 and nearly 6.

    I can tell you that the pressure put on these little kids when they actually get to school is frightening. They are doing things much, much earlier than we did but I notice lots of problems because of it. I always thought your first year of elementary is when you learned your alphabet, how letters sound, how to write your name, write the alphabet and how to count and recognize numbers. Nowadays it seems if you don’t already know how to do these things when you start you are behind everyone else.

    I struggle with guilt because I allow my child to BE a child rather than pushing her endlessly to be a brilliant scholar at the age of 6. The world has become too competitive.

    I’m including a link to an exceptional article that I read recently that discusses at lot of topics about many kids of today.
    There are a lot of behavior things I notice with my nephews and friends’ children and this article touches on a lot of them.

    It’s very interesting.

    They called the article ‘The Parent Trap’. Hopefully you can get to this link. http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/parenting/kids/the-parent-trap-20091221-l9eb.html

  8. HI, so glad there are concerned and caring parents. They keep hiding the fact the 26!!!! kids are going to be in one room. Yikes! 1 teacher 1 ECE and 26 kids – just how much time will your child get with a teacher – add in behaviour issues, special needs, basic needs of kids who have less than perfect lives.
    Can you imagine being in 1 room with that many people all day long. The rooms in Ontario were funded for a cap of 20 and even then that is too many and the rooms are too small.
    The school will be open from 7 am till 6 pm (you pay for the extra time) and all bets are on we will see some kids left there for 11 hours. They will say 2ECEs but that is just so there will be an ECE in early and 1 late -no overlap
    Parents start rejecting this!!!!! Many teachers in the know are NOT putting their own kids in these rooms.

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