Full-day Kindergarten to be Implemented Province-wide in 2016
Budget 2014 provides $35.4 million over three years to implement a universal, full-day Kindergarten program, beginning in September 2016, and to further enhance early learning opportunities. The funding represents the beginning of Phase II of the province's Early Learning Strategy, Learning from the Start.
"The implementation of full-day Kindergarten is the next step in our six-year early learning plan, initiated in 2011, to invest in programs and services which give our children the best possible start in life. Given there are some schools which do not currently have the required space to offer full-day Kindergarten programming, Budget 2014 begins an aggressive process to redevelop and renovate existing school infrastructure, where necessary, and to put the required teaching and learning resources in place. This builds on the Provincial Government's commitment to investing in early learning programs and services that promote the early social, emotional and academic development of children." - The Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Education
In addition to funding for full-day Kindergarten, at a cost of $30.6 million over three years, Phase II of Learning From the Start also includes $4.8 million over three years for the continuation of early learning initiatives aimed specifically at infants and toddlers.
Resourcing the Education System Budget 2014 investments also include $128.1 million for school infrastructure projects; $2.4 million annualized for the retention of 28.5 teaching units which were to be removed due to enrolment decline (three of which are specifically earmarked as additional support for Safe and Caring Schools initiatives); 43,000 more hours of student assistant support; and, additional funding for priority repairs and maintenance at public libraries. A commitment has also been made to help acquire new public library space in Conception Bay South, upon completion of a new municipal complex, with funding to begin to flow in 2015-16.
For further information on K-12 education investments, see the Backgrounder: Investments Enhance Early Learning and K-12 Education.
Child Care Program and Services A key priority for the Provincial Government is strengthening regulated child care services across the province, as well as providing developmental opportunities for children and supporting the province’s labour market. Budget 2014 allocates an additional $11.4 million for child care, bringing the total budget to approximately $42.5 million in 2014-15.
“Our 10-year child care strategy, Caring For Our Future, is providing a systematic approach for the growth and enhancement of child care services. To date, significant progress has been made with the introduction of new initiatives and improvements to existing programs and services. Budget 2014 allocates $42.5 million to promote healthy child development, as well as address the quality, sufficiency and affordability of child care services for families with young children.” - The Honourable Paul Davis, Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services
For further information on child care investments, see the Backgrounder: Budget 2014 Investments in Child Care.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to supporting important social programs, strong communities and the health and well-being of children, families and seniors.
- 30 -Media contacts:
Director of Communications
Department of Education
Director of Communications
Department of Child, Youth and Family Services
2014 03 27 2:40 p.m.