Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Kindergarten is serious business.
Playing with puppets, plasticine and paints individually and in groups might look like fun, but in fact, some heavy-duty social and cognitive development is taking place.
And early childhood education expert Mary-Louise Vanderlee explains that the longer this occurs, the better.
“An extended time in kindergarten allows for greater exposure to quality early learning experiences,” the Faculty of Education associate professor tells The Brock News.
“It allows deeper engagement so that children can focus for a longer period of time on their activities. It fosters more opportunity to have small group and one-to-one interaction. These are all things that support child development.
“Additionally, the fact that two educators are in classes with 16 or more children also enhances the education and care within the program,” she says.
Vanderlee, along with Ray DeV Peters from Queen’s, were the principal evaluators of a province-wide research team that the Ontario government commissioned to evaluate the implementation of all-day kindergarten and examine its benefits.