First Year of Full-Day Kindergarten a Success
In 2016, the Liberal government passed 64 pieces of legislation, reflecting an ambitious agenda and a sense of urgency at getting the province back on track.
Among these were several signature pieces of legislation, like the creation of the Office of the Seniors’ Advocate, or presumptive cancer legislation for career and volunteer firefighters. Another was establishing full-day Kindergarten as a key component of the education system in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Despite heavy opposition in the House of Assembly, this legislation passed in the spring of 2016, and by September, full-day Kindergarten was offered in classrooms across the province.
The first group of full-day Kindergarten graduates is advancing to Grade One, and as the school year winds down, the feedback from parents, teachers, and administrators has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I applaud the hard work that has taken place in our schools to implement full-day Kindergarten, and congratulate teachers and students on a successful year,” said Minister of Education Dale Kirby. “Providing full-day Kindergarten across the province has been a significant progressive step to support the educational foundation of our youngest students as they learn and develop. Our government is very pleased with the success of the program and we look forward to seeing the long-term impacts on our children.”
The Reviews are in: Full-Day Kindergarten is a Smash
One parent in the Western region had this to say: “My child is making wonderful progress with reading: I feel he is more advanced at this time than my older child was at this point in the Kindergarten year.”
Research has shown that full-day Kindergarten provides many benefits to children, including stronger academic outcomes, stronger reading skills, and better social and emotional development.
Several parents had glowing reviews of how much their children enjoyed the full-day Kindergarten experience. “My daughter has a fun day of learning and playing with friends. What could be better?” said one parent in the Eastern region.
Another parent said their daughter had an amazing year. “They’re learning so much and having so much fun every day. My child loves school and loves going every day. I could not ask for a better experience.”
To recap: Full-day Kindergarten is a hit with parents, teachers, and administrators. It will increase academic success in schools all across the province. It’ll set Newfoundland and Labrador’s young people up for a lifetime of success.
PCs, NDP opposed to full-day Kindergarten
PC Kevin Parsons, during a June 2016 debate in the House of Assembly, said that by implementing full-day Kindergarten, the education minister was moving the province’s education system backwards.
NDP Lorraine Michael said that the implementation of full-day Kindergarten – an investment in Newfoundland and Labrador’s youth – should be put on hold.
“Don’t do it,” said Independent MHA Paul Lane on June 7, 2016. “I don’t know how much clearer to put it: Do not implement full-day kindergarten at this time.”
The opposing parties roundly criticised this policy decision – a policy decision that would give Newfoundland and Labrador’s Kindergarten students a more in-depth focus on different concepts. They opposed full-day Kindergarten, ignoring reports from across Canada that it has been successfully implemented in other provinces and shown to be beneficial for students.
The Liberal government, on the other hand, is proud to have been able to offer Newfoundland and Labrador’s students this same opportunity.