The opportunities that early childhood education and care (ECEC) provide to children – building a foundation for learning, adjusting behaviours and social skills – come at a vital time in their development. In spite of some criticism and concerns about the Full-Day Early Learning-Kindergarten Program, there is a growing consensus that the program is preparing children socially and academically, leading to better outcomes in later years. However, to deliver the program most effectively it must be designed, funded and operated appropriately.
This means Kindergarten-Grade 1 combined classes should be eliminated. Classes that include children ranging in age from four- to seven years old make it difficult to address the large gaps in their social and cognitive development.
It is also imperative that there be a certified teacher and an early childhood educator (ECE) in all Kindergarten classrooms at all times during the instructional period. Students benefit greatly when ECEs and teachers unite their experiences and efforts in the classroom.