Ontario Passes Full-Day Learning Act
McGuinty Government Also Takes Key Steps To Stabilize Child Care And Improve The Delivery Of Children's Services
Ontario is one step closer to implementing full-day learning for four- and five-year-olds across the province.
Earlier today, the legislature passed the Full-Day Early Learning Statute Law Amendment Act, 2010. The legislation included a number of amendments, such as clarifying the roles of teachers and early childhood educators in full-day early learning classrooms.
In addition, the government will address the need for child care centres to have the flexibility they need as four- and five-year-olds move into the integrated before- and after-school program.
Ontario is also supporting the child care sector and will help improve the delivery of other children's services in a number of ways, including:
- Providing stabilization funding. This will be phased in over the period of implementation, growing to $51 million annually at full implementation to help stabilize child care centres as four- and five-year-olds move into the full-day learning program.
- Providing $12 million over five years to help non-profit child care centres make retrofits and renovations to serve younger children.
- Transferring child care policy and program responsibilities to the Ministry of Education from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to facilitate smoother transitions for children from the child care system to the education system.
- Minister of Children and Youth Services Laurel Broten, assisted by Dr. Charles Pascal, will take the lead to bring about integrated services for parents of infants and young children so they can access them in a more co-ordinated, timely and efficient way.
- Full-day learning will be offered in nearly 600 schools in September 2010.
- Teachers and early childhood educators in full-day learning classrooms will be guided by the new Full-Day Early Learning - Kindergarten Program.
- Subsidies will be available, based on need, for some families who need help with the cost of the extended-day program.
- The full-day early learning program will be supported by a team of teachers and early childhood educators with approximately 26 kids per classroom.
“The passage of this legislation is the next step towards our vision of integrating early learning and child care. Providing a seamless system will give our children a stronger start and provide parents with the security of knowing that their children are being cared for in a safe, healthy and stimulating environment.”
“This change will help us deliver more co-ordinated early learning, child care and support services for young families. It will help create smoother transitions for parents and children as they grow.”
“It's heartening to see the Government moving forward with other essential initiatives that are key to the wellbeing of Ontario's children and families including improving the delivery of children's services and childcare. Advocates have long recognized that good child care educates and good education cares. This is a critical step to erasing the divide between the education and child care sectors, along with progress on integrating all children's services - and creating a stronger world class system for Ontario's children and families.”
Dr. Charles Pascal