Full-day kindergarten would benefit Manitobans


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/12/2021 (523 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Winnipeg School Division recently announced that it would cut its full-day kindergarten pilot program which has been running in 11 of its schools for several years.

The reason given was that, while the program found that children benefited at the beginning of Grade 1, students in the half-day kindergarten program are catching up by the end of Grade 2.

However, the program did not study the economic or social benefits of full-day kindergarten, of which there are many. For example, Manitoba has a huge child-care deficit, and many parents struggle with the logistics of getting kids to a short half day of kindergarten and then to daycare placements, if they are available. Inadequate child care and educational opportunities hurt the workforce and women in particular, an issue which has been exacerbated during this pandemic. This can affect awhole family’s social and economic wellbeing, not just the child’s school academic readiness.

Full-day kindergarten is actually quite common in other Canadian provinces. In eight out of 13 provinces and territories, full-day kindergarten is widely available or even the norm. In Alberta, studies have shown that disadvantaged students benefit greatly from full-day kindergarten, which helped narrow the gap between them and other students. There are so many reasons why Manitoba should make full-day kindergarten more widely available, and it is time for the Progressive Conservative government to invest seriously in our children and families by helping them to have the best possible academic and economic outcomes.

On another note, the province recently announced new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in light of the threat from the new Omicron variant and a resultant rise in infection numbers. Like you, I am disappointed that my family and I will once again miss out on celebrating Christmas with friends and relatives, but I believe it is vital to do everything we can to reduce our contacts and stay safe. With vaccines, we are already in a much better situation than last year, but we need to work together to protect our communities so that we don’t lose the progress we have already made. 

Last, I want to acknowledge that many folks are currently struggling to get enough food and ask all those who are able to donate food or money to Manitoba Harvest, which operates many food banks in Notre Dame, and if you are need of food to call Manitoba Harvest at 204-982-3671.

Contact my office anytime by calling 204-788-0800 or emailing malaya.marcelino@yourmanitoba.ca


Malaya Marcelino

Malaya Marcelino
Notre Dame constituency report

Malaya Marcelino is the NDP MLA for Notre Dame.

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