Setting The Record Straight On Pre-Primary

The Liberal plan to introduce a pre-primary program to educate every four-year-old in Nova Scotia is good public policy – and will support young students and families.

“We have heard from a number of educational experts who say it is very important for young Nova Scotians to get access to school programs as early as possible,” says Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil.

“Our proposed program will provide high-quality education programs to every child in Nova Scotia – and it will save young families up to $10,000 per year.”

In recent days, an Early Childhood Education group has criticized the plan as lacking a ‘consultative’ process and lacking merit.

In preparing its proposal, the Liberal Party consulted with early childhood education experts who are in full support of this plan – and the Liberal Party has also committed to working with daycare operators who are concerned with the impact on their business models. This could include incentives to transition to before and after school care, or provide more spaces for children under four.

“We have spoken with many people in this field,” McNeil said. “That consultation included Margaret McCain, who is one of the most respected educational experts in Canada. To quote Ms. McCain: “Independent evaluations found that children who attended the program began Grade Primary with greater confidence and skills, creating a more productive learning environment for teachers and students.”

Ms. McCain went on to say: “Early education is tied to other important goals including improving educational outcomes, reducing illiteracy and poverty and making the province a place where young families want to come and stay.”

Over the next several years, the Liberal plan to offer a play-based educational program to every four-year-old in Nova Scotia will require an investment of roughly $50 million at full implementation.