As the week unfolds, we will all get a better picture of what it has been like for parents to make a call given only a weekend’s notice and what it has been like for staff to cope with this instant change. Here is the Guardian’s first report.
This left kindergarten teachers confused about how they would catch those students up to the months of learning they’ve already given the existing kindergarten children.
During a meeting on Monday, the Education Department told early learning educators and operators they don’t have to try to catch them up. They are being asked to offer these children a ‘readiness program’ instead.
This will climatize those children who have not previously been in a child-care environment to taking direction from teachers and will offer some fine motor skills preparation.
But Linda Lowther, senior director of public education, warned this is not the recommended route for children. “It’s barely going to get them ready,’’ she said.
Elizabeth Jeffery, owner-operator of Little Wonders Childcare Centre, said she had four students move up from the junior kindergarten on Monday into the regular kindergarten program in order to get them ready for first grade.
“I’ll have one kindergarten class and one readiness class. Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to finish the junior kindergarten class and give them the entire kindergarten curriculum within the next three to four months. It’s not physically possible. The children won’t be able to learn properly,” said Jeffery.
“The Department of Education has just asked us to do a readiness program for those children so that they know how to take care of themselves, go to the bathroom on their own, can work well in groups and so on. But they are not going to have the educational background that the rest of the children have. They are going to be at a great disadvantage.”
What is your opinion? How do you feel about policy being made about you and your children and you and your work – on the fly?