The coverage has been virtually provincewide, as every media outlet reported on the schools in their coverage area that would host the program's third phase. The running total on the number of schools that will have the program by September 2012 is approximately half of all publicly funded elementary schools in the province.
Some notable coverage that jumped out at me-- likely because it went beyond just listing school names and a program description:
- An article on Liberal MPP Bob Chiarelli's letters to media sent to journos by the OLP research department in PC ridings (I got my own);
- An editorial from QMI Agency;
- The Star on how the parties are doing with FDK as an election issue; and,
- The North Bay Nugget on FDK for small, remote schools.
Probably the biggest element is that the government can't be flamed every time it makes an adjustment to its original plan during this five-year implementation. Giving flexibility to address existing children's services agencies' offerings in schools and the reality of program implementation in remote regions shouldn't equal getting tarred and feathered for 'flip-flopping.'
That said, I did think it rich that Progressive Conservative education critic (and the party's last education minister) Elizabeth Witmer was trying to get mileage out of slamming the Liberal line that Conservatives would kill off implementing the rest of the program. For a party that has only made vehicular references ("Cadillac program") to the full-day kindergarten program it was a bit much to critique the Liberals' attempts to paint Tory policy. Especially when, to its credit, the government was talking full-day kindergarten consistently last Wednesday while the opposition was moaning about hydro. I guess they didn't get the memo, so the response could only come the following day.
Leaving the program at 50% implementation would be a disaster. Let's see what alternatives, if any, arise in the coming months.
With all the coverage, I'm still not seeing anything substantial that comes back to the families who spoke to the media in September when the kiddies started school. I'm also not seeing anything that attempts to describe play-based learning.
Somewhat related, I started working on something fun related to this yesterday. I'll unveil it here when it's done.