At some point, the government will need to ramp up its spending commitment, or else some of today's toddlers may have children of their own before their schools have been expanded. But for future generations, a gradual phase-in may prove a blessing, since there is a strong element of trial-by-error to all this. Over the next few years, officials will be taking notes on everything from cost containment to curriculum to the allocation of human resources, and attempting to learn from their mistakes - of which, given the scramble to be ready for next year, there will probably be a good number.He hits the nail on the head with some of his comments in regards to how this whole thing is going to be rolled out. While there was general commitment to fully implement Pascal's recommendations, the dollars being allocated will push that into the middle or end of the next decade, providing the government of the day remains supportive.
Equally uncertain, until the phase-in has begun, will be the ripple effects. A particular concern among government officials is what effect full-day learning will have on private daycare services. If most of the four- and five-year-olds in an area are pulled out, will some of those centres be forced out of business, leaving children three and under stranded?
Ontario is entering uncharted territory with early childhood plans that will likely prove more ambitious than any that Canada has yet seen at a provincewide level. The slow pace won't thrill parents of children who will be too old to take advantage of the new services by the time they reach their areas. But over the next few years, Mr. McGuinty's government will be learning as much from its new education programs as the children enrolled in them.
The impression I got from Pascal earlier this year was that he's OK with a staged, careful and possibly 'messy' implementation of his recommendations. Trial and error, etc., and constant re-evaluation will ensure the end goal remains in sight and can be reached eventually. It's more important to get it right than to rush towards it just to say it's been done.
H/T to Malkin over at the SQE blog.