‘What I’m recommending to parents when I get the calls is that they stay the course.’ (CBC)
— Linda Lowther, Dept. of Education
The P.E.I. Department of Education is suggesting that parents not rush to start children recently made eligible for Grade 1 next year.
The province adjusted the age eligibility for students starting Grade 1 last week, meaning children turning six before Oct. 31 can start school this year. Previously the cutoff had been Aug. 31.
As a result of the change, some parents are trying to enrol their children in kindergarten to prepare them for entering school in the fall, but the government is now saying parents don’t need to be hasty, unless their children can already read and are ready to advance.
“What I’m recommending to parents when I get the calls is that they stay the course, because they would have been planning to put their child in kindergarten in September anyway,” senior director of public education Linda Lowther told CBC News Monday.
“I really, really recommend highly that parents continue with that decision, that they leave their child wherever their child was, whether it’s in pre-K or at home, and that they start kindergarten in September.”
The government says it changed the age requirement at the request of parents who complained that children were able to start at a younger age in other provinces.