Education Minister Stephen Lecce on Thursday said the province will maintain Ontario’s full-day kindergarten program, one of a number of contentious issues between government and teachers’ unions.
“Our government has put forward reasonable proposals at the negotiating table, including a commitment to maintain full-day kindergarten,” Lecce wrote in a statement regarding continued escalation by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).
“It is deeply disappointing parents are still seeing repeated escalation at the expense of our students to advance higher compensation, including more generous benefit plans.”
The minister’s promise regarding full-day kindergarten appears not to have broken the current standoff in bargaining with ETFO — one of four education unions currently staging job actions.
Lecce has repeatedly said that the government has formally committed to full-day kindergarten
In November, he told reporters at Queen’s Park, “I’m affirming that it is the aim of the government to strengthen all-day kindergarten and obviously to negotiate in good faith with the union. With that said, we believe that the model is working and there is no plan on my desk to change it.”
The government’s current position is a significant change from 2019.
While answering reporters’ questions following a health-care announcement January last year, Premier Doug Ford, would not guarantee that full-day kindergarten would continue beyond the next school year.
In recent days, that CBC story — published Jan. 30, 2019 — has been shared widely on social media.