Can you believe it? Half-day kindergarten is fine the way it is. Very few parents are clammering for change. Yet, the Dalton McGuinty Liberals are pressing ahead with all-day junior and senior kindergarten in spite of a $25 BILLION dollar deficit. Check out this and this (H/T Jack’s Newswatch).
And, they are pressing ahead knowing full well there is a huge fight brewing with the teachers’ unions who are demanding that only qualified teachers teach the full-day. Well, as I have written before, during my career I have taught in both teacher education and Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs and I can say unequivocally that ECE instructors are very well qualified to do what they do. Teachers can be in charge of the formal curriculum (half the day) and ECE instructors the other half — involving resting, play and social interaction.
The very idea that qualified teachers are needed the whole day is simply silly — four and five-year olds can’t sit still and learn all day long. They need rest periods and it doesn’t make sense that staff are paid teachers salaries while all the children are sleeping on their mats. Not that I don’t think ECE teachers shouldn’t be paid a decent wage. They should!
However, this is the real world. We are just coming out of a recession. We can’t afford a new program like this. And, for what? So that the Ontario Liberals can fight the October 2011 election on their largess — with our money!
And, make no mistake, their largess is going to hit the taxpayers hard and increase the deficit that much more. Estimates are, for example, that implementation will be between $500 million and $1 BILLION dollars.
Yet, the crux of the matter is that no one is talking about the elephant in the room — that this decision is not about education at all. It is simply a sneaky way of providing Ontarians with fully subsidized day care.
Welcome to Ontario — yours to discover — the nanny state!
C/P Jack’s Newswatch.
Update: So now we know “the rest of the story.” The McGuinty government knuckled under and we, the Ontario taxpayers, will pay double or nearly double the costs. Why? Read this Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario (ETFO) news release. The McGuinty government will have qualified teachers on a full-day basis PLUS early childhood worker support. Unbelievable. All because the McGuinty crew give the teachers’ unions everything they ask for. No wonder Ontario now has such a large deficit, a deficit that is growing by the day. (H/T Mark-Alan)