Full-day kindergarten is offered in all public elementary schools across Ontario.

Below is a primer on how we got here, what it means for your child and what you can do to help your child get ready for school.
 
Background:

  • November 2007: Dr. Charles E. Pascal was appointed by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to be his special advisor on early learning.
  •  June 15, 2009: Pascal presented his report, With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario. The report offers 20 recommendations on how to introduce full-day learning to Ontario students, how to improve education for children up to 12 years old, and how to increase supports for young families.
  • October 2009: McGuinty announces plans to move ahead with full-day kindergarten.
  • February/March 2010: The passage into law of Bill 242, a bill to amend the Education Act to include full-day kindergarten.
  • April 2010: The new full-day kindergarten curriculum is unveiled.
  • September 2010: 35,000 four-and five-year-olds begin full-day kindergarten in Ontario.
  • Full-day kindergarten will be available in all publicly funded elementary schools across Ontario by September 2014. Find your school.

The Facts:

  • Average class size: 26 students.
  • Classes will be run by a teacher and an early childhood educator (ECE) who work as a team. Their duties are assigned by the principal.
  • Extended, fee-based care is offered at schools with enough parental interest (at least 20 families). Fees are determined by the school board. This extended care may or may not include holidays, March Break, PD days, or the summer break. Check with your school to find out if extended care is offered and when it is offered. Find out more about before and after care.

The Classroom: What to Expect:

  • The classroom will have various learning centres at which the children will spend a large chunk of their day. These are:
    • the dramatic play centre and puppet centre
    • the book corner, writing centre, word-study centre, and listening centre
    • the block centre
    • the sand and water centres
    • the mathematics centre
    • the science and technology centre and discovery centre
    • the visual arts centre
  • There will be an open area for group activities.
  • There will be an outdoor area for the kids to play.
  • There will be an area set aside for children to nap or play quietly.
  • Find out more about play-based learning.
  • Find out what you can do at home.
  • Read more about the kindergarten curriculum.

The Day: What to Expect:

  • Children will alternate between learning centres, large group time, small group time, individual time and outdoor play. How much time each child spends in each area depends on the child and the teachers.
  • Where and when kids eat lunch is determined by the school.
  • Snacks may be provided at one of the learning centres or where the child happens to be during snack time.
  • Children will not have scheduled nap time. Kids can nap when they feel tired in a designated nap area.
  • If before and after school care is provided, where it is provided is determined by the school.
  • For more on what to expect, read the Ontario Ministry of Education guide for parents.