It is time for our province to have full-day kindergarten. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks and once again we are among the last to do what the rest of the country figured out several years ago.
Before you write your comment about “how lazy parents are these days,” you need to know that my three kids have all done half-day kindergarten. I’ve put in my time.
As a dad to all these K-veterans, I feel I can speak with some credibility on this matter.
From a child development perspective, I think full days make a whole lot more sense.
A three-hour session in the middle of the day is very disruptive and, for many kids, results in a morning in one place, an early afternoon at school, then a late afternoon in yet another spot before they head home for supper.
That is a hectic way to live a five-year-old life. I don’t think the education system has wrapped its head around this reality.
From a parent perspective, half-day kindergarten is a relic of the 1950s. I support two-parent families who make the decision for one to stay at home — we did it for a few years.
However, for a great majority it is simply not a feasible option in 2012 (I have no clue how single parents do kindergarten).
Our institutions cannot count on “mommy being home” anymore — they must evolve with the world in which they exist. Stressed-out parents with full-time jobs doing the kindergarten shuttle route every day cannot make their best contribution to child development either.
Our children and their parents deserve better from our education system. I hope that the policy makers are listening and that other parents and grandparents will speak out on this issue, too.
Scott Morton Ninomiya