This subject will push some buttons, I’m sure.
I can remember the day clearly. In 2007 (perhaps 2008), I was returning home with my 1 year old son from daycare, reveling in his cuteness and enjoying the few short hours we got to spend together as a full-time, working Mom. He was repeatedly telling me “Wee wee dat way?” which we would years later translate to mean, “We go that way?” Other than the sleep deprivation, I was in heaven.
During that drive, a news report came on the radio with the exciting news: the premier of our province would be beginning full day Kindergarten for 3 to 5 year olds.
I remember exactly what I thought: no thank you.
Why from the get go was I so against the idea of full-day Kindergarten? Here is why.
I absolutely cherish childhood and I worry that we, in the society I live in, don’t enough. For me, my definition of childhood means loose routines, lots of room for creativity, and lots of one on one attention. I think these hopes are next to impossible in a room with 25+ children, no matter the amazing teacher at the helm (and I know lots of amazing teachers).
I also hate full-day Kindergarten because it is a program built around the belief that it continues to support women’s choice. Really, we aren’t. Quitter and I have spoken about this at length: that the woman’s movement created amazing choice for women when it came to employment, for a while. But now, society thrives on the double income family so if you, as a woman, chose not to work, well, good luck financially surviving.
But don’t worry – the government will support you by taking care of your kids and ease the burden of child care fees (this is a whole other rant for another time) with <TADA> Full-Day Kindergarten!
Now don’t get me wrong. Holy hell I do not judge my fellow Mom for her choices. But did she really have choice? Was she really after that amazing career (a lot are – hat’s off) or did she really want to stay at home with her kid’s but could not afford it (lot of women here too)? And really, it’s 2019. What if Dad wants to stay home?
So it’s a mess. It’s a big fat mess in my mind and full-day Kindergarten is one of many band-aid’s holding back the tsunami.
To all my Parent’s out there entering the school system for the first time with their mini-me’s: I respect your choices. I understand why. Your little one, I’m sure, will rock the full day “Garden”.
But is it best?