TDSB on board with full-day early learning

TheStar.com – Opinion/letter – TDSB on board with full-day early learning
June 17, 2009

We wholeheartedly support the findings of Dr. Charles Pascal’s report, With Our Best Future in Mind.

Parents and educators have long understood what research confirms: that early learning plays a critical role in subsequent student success. Few people would dispute that a society’s children are its greatest asset. Yet despite this broad consensus, our society has been reluctant to invest in early learning, and early childhood educators remain among the most undervalued sector in our society.

Not so in the TDSB, where our early learning vision seeks to build a strong foundation for the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of all children, both in school and beyond it. We recognize the need for an integrated approach to early learning.

We currently house more than 300 child care centres as well as 69 Parenting and Family Literacy Centres. And an integrated child care and kindergarten program is delivered in 11 schools where we are already implementing a combined curriculum. It is just a start, we understand. Substantial additional funding will be required to implement the comprehensive full-day early learning program Dr. Pascal recommends. But we believe that if the cost is great, the benefit to all of us will be many times greater still. We hope the provincial government finds the necessary resources to realize this vision. Our schools are more than ready to do the heavy lifting.

Gerry Connelly, Director of Education, Toronto District School Board

 

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