New Early Learning Initiatives in British Columbia and Ontario

British Columbia and Ontario are undergoing large-scale changes to their public school systems by implementing a gradual transition to full-day Kindergarten. With this change comes significant benefits. Research in early learning from the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development has been linked to improved academic and social performance in later school years, as well as increased long-term economic benefits for our society.

Last week, 20,000 new students in B.C and 35,000 new students in Ontario started full-day Kindergarten. The provinces of Québec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick currently offer full-day Kindergarten for five year olds.

Jane Beach, international early learning consultant and former director of child care for the province of British Columbia states, “It is amazing to see the ripple effect that early childhood education and related opportunities create throughout a child’s life. In fact, all of our children need the skills they develop from playing, working and creating together-in a hands-on learning environment-in order to be successful in the 21st century.”

The Government of British Columbia’s “Early Learning Framework” and the Government of Ontario’s “With Our Best Future in Mind: Early Learning in Ontario” both outline the research evidence as well as a vision for implementation of early learning initiatives in both provinces.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has recognized that “equitable access to quality early childhood education and care can strengthen the foundations of lifelong learning for all children and support the broad educational and social needs of families.”