Source: Post Media, November 22, 2011
Excerpt: Canadian toddlers — not five-year-olds — may be the ones posing for "first-day-of-school" snapshots taken by proud parents, if provincial governments adopt recommendations from the latest report on early-childhood education. The Early Years Study — the third of its kind since 1999 — recommends in-school programs for children as young as two years old, which would be tailored to "maximize their development" through guided play delivered by experienced early-childhood educators. The report encourages provincial governments — ideally with continued funding from the federal government — to gather the "bits of programming" currently available from drop-in centres, family resource workshops, pre-kindergarten, junior-kindergarten and nursery schools, and to connect them to a central early-childhood school system. "Education already has a solid network of infrastructure and facilities in every province," said Kerry McCuaig, one of the lead authors of the study, which was released Tuesday. The idea is to capitalize on that infrastructure to provide more and varied programs.