The former Assistant Deputy Minister of Education who implemented full-day kindergarten in Ontario says the Ontario government should think twice about axing the program.

Jim Grieve

Jim Grieve, former ADM of Education, implemented full-day kindergarten. (Photo: Retired Teachers of Ontario)

Studies show the return on investment in full-day kindergarten is between $3.00 and $7.00 for every dollar spent, says Jim Grieve in an interview on CBC Radio’s All in a Day program.

“Early learning pays dividends, and there’s lots and lots of good Canadian and international research that suggests that this was a really important investment,” Grieve said.

“When we started rolling out full-day kindergarten … we started immediately doing research into the impact and the comparison between half- and full-day. And the full-day is an impressive change in setting these children up for really great opportunities to be more successful in school in areas like language and math and in social behaviour and in long-term health. We’ve got some pretty compelling evidence … right in the Ministry of Education offices on that.”

Grieve said he visited hundreds of kindergarten classes when the full-day program was implemented. He said the improvement was obvious when students entered Grade 1.

“They are much better prepared, they’re much more confident about themselves and they’re ready to learn,” he said. “If you want to invest in improving the population of Ontario, this is the place to do it.”

To hear the full interview, click or tap on the “Play” button below.