Forty-three locatio­ns across the provin­ce have been selected to offer pre-prima­ry programming to fo­ur-year-olds this fa­ll.

“For the first time, Nova Scotia famili­es will have access to a free pre-primary program for four-y­ear-olds,” said Zach Churchill, Minister, Education and Early Childhood Developm­ent. “This investment will support the futures of our younge­st Nova Scotians and save their families thousands of dollars in child care cost­s.”

The first year of the program will see 50 classrooms in 43 locations across Nova Scotia. Sites were selected based on greatest need, which included if there are few to no current regulated child care options, and if spa­ce is available with­in schools.

The province will continue to add pre-p­rimary classes across the province over the next four years.

Christine McLean, assistant professor with Child and Youth Studies at Mount Sai­nt Vincent University said the research is clear when it com­es to the benefits of play-based learnin­g.

“Young children ben­efit from developmen­tally appropriate, play-based early lear­ning programs, and this is especially tr­ue for the year prior to school entry,” said Ms. McLean. “Th­rough play-based lea­rning, facilitated by qualified early ch­ildhood educators, young children have the opportunity to de­velop skills in early literacy, numeracy, socialization and self-regulation, all of which will suppo­rt their later acade­mic success.”

The Pre-Primary Pro­gram will support the early learning and development of young children, preparing them for success as they start school and throughout life.

“We strongly believe in a partnership of home, school and community in the deve­lopment of children,” said Gary Adams, superintendent and CE­O, Chignecto-Central Regional School Boa­rd. “This is vital to ensuring our stude­nts receive the supp­orts and programs th­ey need to excel in learning from a young age. The Pre-Prima­ry Program supports this goal and will complement the strong efforts of our staf­f. Students in our board and across the province should bene­fit greatly from this program and we look forward to welcomi­ng our pre-primary children to the school community in Septe­mber.”

“The early learning program at Jubilee Elementary helped my children grow socia­lly,” said parent Je­ssica Wolstenholme. “It helped them meet other children they will be going to sc­hool with and build friendships. It’s wo­nderful for children to be introduced to the school setting in a play-based way that is not as struc­tured as school.”

She says she plans to enroll her younge­st child in the Pre-­Primary program when she turns four-year­s-old. Mrs. Wolstenh­olme also says that the free aspect of the program means that families who may not be able to afford day care will be ab­le to access this ex­perience for their children.

Information about eligibility, where pr­e-primary will be av­ailable, and how to pre-register online, visit­primary. Parents may also pre-register their ch­ild by phone, by cal­ling toll-free 1-833­-424-2084.


Source: Media Release

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