Yesterday, the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development released a report on the economic impact of full day early learning. Written by economist Robert Fairholm of the Centre for Spatial Economics, the report identifies considerable financial benefits to the province. It states that for every $1 that the province invests in full day early learning, there is a $2.42 return. However, the report also states that the full financial return is dependent upon the provision of not just the full day kindergarten component but also the extended day program.
You can find the full report on the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development website.
There was considerable take-up in the press about the report, including articles in the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.
Of note in the August 30, 2010 article in the Toronto Star by Laurie Monsebraaten, Social Justice Reporter, was the information about how few schools providing full day early learning in September 2010 will also be operating extended day programs(before- and after-school):
Public & Catholic Boards
Schools offering full day kindergarten
Schools offering before- and after-school programs
It is our understanding that in Peel Region the Board has entered into a contract with third party providers to operate the extended day program in the six schools where it will be available and that the Board is not operating these programs directly.
As has been discussed in previous blog entries, there are a multitude of reasons why the take-up for the extended day program has been minimal. There is every reason to anticipate that some of the inevitable glitches of implementing a program of such magnitude will be resolved as the roll-out of full day early learning proceeds. Come September 2011, there may be a significant increase in the number of schools where the extended day program is available. However, this outcome is, for now, uncertain.
In the interim, this delay in schools providing the extended day program provides the licensed child care sector with opportunities to explore how the child care sector could work collaboratively with the education sector to offer truly seamless, integrated programs for children and their families.