Children at kindergarten age are growing and prone to getting tired, so full-day kindergarten might be too much for them, Aivilik MLA Patterk Netser says.
photo courtesy of Kevin Nearing

A move toward full-time kindergarten lost momentum when Covid struck, and now a decision on a pilot project isn’t expected until fall or winter.

“The department fully supports the concept of full-day kindergarten. I believe that’s the same across the House,” Education Minister David Joanasie said in the legislative assembly on March 3. “With that, we’re looking at options on how we can move forward with implementing a full-day kindergarten in Nunavut. If we are going forward, it would likely have to be phased in over a period of time, given our resources and the building capacity of our schools.”

Aivilik MLA Patterk Netser expressed some reservations about the concept, however.

“Children at the kindergarten level, some are five years old, some are four, if I’m correct, and they do get tired and take naps during the day when they get tired. They’re still at the growing stage. Should they be required to attend the full day? I’m a little bit concerned,” Netser said. “I’m sure that they will have in-depth discussions with the parents to see if they would like their child to attend full-day or half-day. Have you canvassed the parents to see what they think about their kindergarten age child attending all day? Have you talked to the parents? If you haven’t, I’m urging your department to canvass the parents of the children to see what they think.”

Joanasie said the department will be open to input.

“I’ll commit to providing an opportunity for the public. I don’t think we can reach every single parent, but they’ll have an opportunity to provide feedback,” he said.

When asked which communities would most likely to be part of a pilot program, Joanasie replied it would be schools that have enough space available.

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