McGuinty Government Promoting Early Student Success
Investing In Family Literacy Centres Across Ontario Will Help Children In High-Needs Communities Succeed
The Ontario government has opened more Parenting and Family Literacy Centres across the province to help our youngest children get off to a great start at school, said Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"Parents and families want the very best for their children and these centres provide them with the support they need to develop their children's early literacy and numeracy skills," said Premier McGuinty. "We need every one of our students at their best so we can keep building a stronger Ontario."
Today's announcement extends support to Parenting and Family Literacy Centres outside of Toronto for the first time. For 2007-08, the McGuinty government is investing $6 million in 89 centres across Ontario -- 54 existing centres in Toronto and 35 new centres across the province.
Located in high-needs communities, the centres focus on building children's literacy and numeracy skills through stories, music, reading and activities. The centres are open to children up to six years old who attend with a parent or caregiver.
"Parents are the most important teacher in a child's life," said Education Minister Kathleen Wynne. "These centres give parents a supportive environment to engage with their children and help them develop the skills they need to succeed in school and life."
Supporting and expanding Parenting and Family Literacy Centres is just one of the ways the McGuinty government is working together with Ontarians to help young students succeed. Other initiatives include:
- Reducing class sizes in kindergarten to Grade 3 -- nearly 90 per cent of classrooms have 20 or fewer students compared to 31 per cent in 2003
- Providing funding for about 1,925 new elementary specialist teachers in areas such as music, phys-ed and the arts
- Launching a new website, www.ontario.ca/abc123, that gives parents practical tips to help children develop literacy and numeracy skills.
"Together with Ontarians, we're making our public schools the best they can be," said Premier McGuinty. "We now have a foundation for success -- and we're going to keep moving forward, together."