The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) is inviting feedback from the public on its intention to develop and implement what is being called “full day learning for 4 and 5 year olds“. The early learning advisor, Dr. Charles Pascal, provides an introduction to the initiative and provides a list of assumptions he is working under, and a discussion guide, which includes opportunity for input.
We are pleased that Dr. Pascal acknowledges and highlights issues related to immigrant children and families. From his list of assumptions, this statement:
Respect for diversity, equity and inclusion are critical for honoring children’s rights, optimal development, learning, and contributing to a more inclusive society. Ontario is a province of many cultures, religions, and languages and early childhood programs need to reflect those differences. Environments that promote attitudes and beliefs that celebrate equity, diversity and democracy and are inclusive of children with special needs enable character development and provide children with a strong sense of self in relation to others. Quality early learning environments incorporate the diversity of their participants to enrich programming for all. As well, while universally available, effective early learning programming should adapt to a wide variety of individual differences and needs of children and families.