Time for full-time kinder­garten

The Compass - - OPINION -

Dear Edi­tor,

It is time for our prov­ince to have full-day kinder­garten. The ben­e­fits far out­weigh the draw­backs and once again we are among the last to do what the rest of the coun­try fig­ured out sev­eral years ago.

Be­fore you write your com­ment about “how lazy par­ents are th­ese days,” you need to know that my three kids have all done half-day kinder­garten. I’ve put in my time.

As a dad to all th­ese K-veter­ans, I feel I can speak with some cred­i­bil­ity on this mat­ter.

From a child de­vel­op­ment per­spec­tive, I think full days make a whole lot more sense.

A three-hour ses­sion in the mid­dle of the day is very dis­rup­tive and, for many kids, re­sults in a morn­ing in one place, an early af­ter­noon at school, then a late af­ter­noon in yet an­other spot be­fore they head home for sup­per.

That is a hec­tic way to live a five-year-old life. I don’t think the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem has wrapped its head around this re­al­ity.

From a par­ent per­spec­tive, half-day kinder­garten is a relic of the 1950s. I sup­port two-par­ent fam­i­lies who make the de­ci­sion for one to stay at home — we did it for a few years.

How­ever, for a great ma­jor­ity it is sim­ply not a fea­si­ble op­tion in 2012 (I have no clue how sin­gle par­ents do kinder­garten).

Our in­sti­tu­tions can­not count on “mommy be­ing home” any­more — they must evolve with the world in which they ex­ist. Stressed-out par­ents with full-time jobs do­ing the kinder­garten shut­tle route ev­ery day can­not make their best con­tri­bu­tion to child de­vel­op­ment ei­ther.

Our chil­dren and their par­ents de­serve bet­ter from our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. I hope that the pol­icy mak­ers are lis­ten­ing and that other par­ents and grand­par­ents will speak out on this is­sue, too.

Scott Mor­ton Ni­nomiya Edi­tor’s note: the pre­ced­ing let­ter also ap­peared in the June 27, 2012 print edi­tion of The Telegram

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