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For Immediate Release


June 30, 2008

Ministry of Education




VICTORIA – The Early Childhood Learning Agency is consulting on the feasibility of full-day kindergarten for five-year-olds and optional full-day kindergarten for three-and-four-year-old children, Education Minister Shirley Bond said today.


“As I’ve visited school districts, I’ve heard from parents that they want the choice of more early learning opportunities for their children,” said Bond. “That is the work that the Early Childhood Learning Agency is exploring – what are the potential options for our earliest learners, what do families want and what are the logistical and cost implications.”


The agency has begun to explore the feasibility of expanding early learning programs in British Columbia, and will report back to government decision makers by the end of 2008. The report will include:

·      Consideration of available research findings, including the experiences of other


·      Analysis of costs in areas including capital, operating and human resources.

·      Consideration of views and opinions from a wide range of groups and individuals to help ensure the government’s actions are aligned with British Columbians’ needs and priorities.


            “Children’s early learning takes place mostly through their relationships and play,” said Bond. “The agency is looking at the feasibility of programs that are designed for the children’s stage of development, and designed to address emotional, social, language and physical learning in a nurturing environment staffed by adults who are appropriately trained.”


The agency has prepared a consultation paper as part of the process of stimulating dialogue. To view the consultation paper and submit your input, please go to Responses received by July 18, 2008 will be carefully considered. 


The Early Childhood Learning Agency was announced in the speech from the throne in February 2008 and has been created within the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Children and Family Development.










Since 2001, government has invested more than $137 million in new literacy initiatives, including pre-literacy and early learning programs such as StrongStart BC. The Province has committed $38 million to fulfil a 2008 throne speech commitment to expand the StrongStart BC program to 400 centres by 2010.








Public Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Education

250 356-5963


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