Here are some excerpts from an editorial in the Guardian this weekend. Click here to see the full text.
The government is hesitant to make a decision until there is a general consensus for or against. It makes one wonder if this government has a firm stand on anything. So it came as a stunning surprise when the government decided late last week to make a major change to the age when children enter kindergarten and school.
Kindergarten is one area where parents need lots of time to look for the right facility, get on a waiting list, and budget for the expense. Parents didn’t need to be panicked into making rash decisions. The announcement last Thursday came without warning for the majority involved in early childhood learning, who were given just three days warning to modify lesson plans for the rest of the year and accommodate new children who had never been to kindergarten before. It appears that a small, vocal minority stampeded government into making a rash decision, leaving parents and teachers scrambling to make sense of the whole thing.
Parents don’t want to hold their children back while friends move on. So, during a meeting on Monday, the Education Department told early learning educators and operators they don’t have to try to catch them up. Instead, they are being asked to offer these children a ‘readiness program.’ Yet a senior staffer warned parents this is not the recommended route for children. If senior staff hasn’t signed on, why is the department proceeding? The readiness program is not ready because staff is still scrambling to put it together.
The new eligibility date will put the P.E.I. start date more in line with the rest of the country, so the issue isn’t the change of dates; it’s the absence of consultation with stakeholders. There should have been a year or more advance warning given.The key issue should have been what’s best for the child. That wasn’t addressed properly here. Greenan had better be prepared for some tough questions when the house opens next month.