Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ontario's Full-day Kindergarten: it's better to keep the children home

This September as the new school year begins for 2012-13, Ontario school boards will offer Full-day Kindergarten for the first time. Many parents and educators believe this is a great idea for improving a child's education by giving them an early start. It also provides for parents all-day baby-sitting and when added to after school care gives parents the time to work all day. Even the Ministry of Education admits that the program is essentially about kids coming together to play.

The cost of the fully implemented program has not been released by the Ministry. They mislead visitors to their website by saying to parents that the program is "free". However, there are estimates that this new additional year will cost the tax payers between 1.5 to 2 billion dollars. What a colossal waste of public funds. Remember that this All-day Kindergarten program was part of the McGuinty Liberal Party's strategy to win over votes from working parents and teachers. Full-day Kindergarten will create hundreds of teaching jobs and provide expensive "educational" baby-sitting for parents.

Recall, also, that this same government abolished the Ontario Academic Credits program, OACs, that was the fifth year of high school. This final high school year which before that was known as Grade 13 must now be covered at the university level because most, if not all, general BA degrees consist of four years of study. The three year BA program has been abolished because the universities are making up for the lost high school year. And the required extra year must be paid for by the students or the parents. The government has argued that this move has saved money, but they don't tell us that much more will be spent on All-day Kindergarten, not to mention the tension they have created to save education dollars with teachers' unions and pass a legislated freeze on wages.

In abolishing that fifth high school year Ontario sends younger students to start university studies when many of them are not socially and academically prepared to do so. On university campuses they will be exposed to all kinds of risky behaviours and as a result there will be a greater chance for them to experiment with drugs, alcohol, smoking and dangerous sexual activities. Many of these problems could have been prevented by keeping them longer in high school in order for them to mature and thus be able to make more responsible decisions during their university education years.

Don't you feel sorry for those little children beginning All-day Kindergarten this week? They will be away from their parents and afraid of what is happening to them. But on the backs of these little innocent children parents can go to work and the state can say that they are giving the children a head start to education. A head start for what parents ought to ask? What a colossal waste of tax money and human potential! This is a misguided early education policy. The burden and stress put on these young children in being away for such long periods of time from their parents hardly outweighs the benefits.

The simple lesson of what children need to learn from kindergarten up to Grade 3, when everything else is normal, is just good reading and writing skills. Give a child these skills, love them, and they will enjoy education as well as find the road to success. So, what's the hurry in sending three year-olds to all-day schooling. There's a political agenda here: It's the perfect way to indoctrinate children at an early age about human sexuality, the family and the human person. It's the best place for them to not hear any talk about God and other questions of faith and morals. It's a good tactic to get parental influence out of the way so the state can take over at a tender age.

Parents who can avoid Full-day Kindergarten should not send their children to school. Spend another year taking good care of your children and when they do go to school you will find that your chid is ahead of the other children who spent an extra year away from the parents they love. Do read to and with your children. Spend the year teaching them about God, love of neighbour, and the special person that every child is in the eyes of the Creator. This is the best start you can give your child regardless of the jargon coming from educational experts and what the government is telling us.


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  3. I agree that full day kindergarten is glorified baby sitting; however, I disagree that Year 13 should have been kept. Every province in Canada finishes high school after Year 12 - I am one of them - and they do well. Are Ontario students less mature than other Canadian students? I think not!! I remember several years ago visiting a high school in Saskatchwan and they used exactly the same science texts that they used here In Ontario for Grade 13. So what is the problem? I taught in other provinces and when we had students from Ontario they were behind and when I moved to Ontario I understood why.....