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When Countries Value their Children

Updated on November 15, 2009

Children and the youth are the future of every nation.

It is often said that it is easy to bend a crooked tree straight at a tender age and ensure its healthy and stable progress by giving it fertile soil during its early growth stages. Children at an early stage need more than loving care. They need nurturing and the best chance to grow and contribute to nation building.They are the hope and future of every nation. So, how does Canada and its provinces fare in terms of understanding the value of its children?

Finland’s primary education program earns a top mark with its primary education program.At the age of eight months, all children have access to free, full day kindergarten and day care.Teachers and their students enjoy a free hot meal during school days. The school teachers have masters’ degree and maintain a high level of autonomy on their teaching curriculum. Emphasis is given on socialization skills and there is a minimal homework for students.This is why Finland’s primary education has the envy of many countries for many years.

Canada is admired by many countries for its many social programs and health care. In primary education, here’s how we score in terms of how we value the importance of our children according to published reports.

International organizations have long criticized Canada for its lack of coordination in early childhood care. Ranking last among developed nations in spending in that area its uncoordinated patchwork of programs that exists across the country is described by many educators a"chaotic mess."

Since 1987, Quebec’s day care is the cornerstone of the province’s early childhood education program. Full-day kindergarten is available at $7 per day for every child. Thousands are enrolled in the system and plans for an additional 20,000 spaces are in the works.

In British Columbia, half day kindergartern is the not compulsory but is the norm. However, the province has plans to scrap full-day kindergarten across B.C. in the fall of 2009 citing financial concerns.

Half-day kindergarten is the norm in Alberta, but is not mandatory. A 2003 commission recommending an all-day kindergarten be implemented province-wide has been rejected by the provincial government..

In Saskatchewan, a province which has enjoyed relative prosperity in these recessionary times, half-day kindergarten is not mandatory but is the norm. It offers pre-kindergarten for three- and four-year-olds in communities where many children have special needs and where forty per cent are indigenous communities.

Ontario’s premier announced last June that a $1 billion proposal is afoot for a consolidated day care and kindergarten program from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pupils will be taught by teams of early childhood educators and teachers.

Ontario called for a massive shake-up in children’s services that would allow parents of 4- and 5-year-olds to leave their children at school from 7:30 in the morning to 6 p.m. as part of sweeping changes bringing daycare and kindergarten under one roof, the Toronto Star reports.

Some 240,000 children are in junior or senior kindergarten classes across the province, which typically run for half the day, or 2 1/2 hours.

New Brunswick has a mandatory program for full day kindergarten for five year olds. Prince Edward Islands, Newfoundland and Labrador each have half day program for kindergarten which is not mandatory but the norm.

Manitoba which borders Ontario, has a non compulsory kindergartern program where each school district decides whether to offer part-time or full-time kindergarten programming.In Nova Scotia, there is mandatory enrollment in full-time kindergarten for all five year olds.


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  • MercuryNewsOnline profile image

    MercuryNewsOnline 8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Dear Christal,

    What you observed is true. But what you said reminds me of a poem "Captain of My Own Flagship"...Life is what we make of it and barring insurmountable odds depends on the individual's determination to succeed.

    All the best,


  • christalluna1124 profile image

    christalluna1124 8 years ago from Dallas Texas

    Hi mercury,

    I agree with you. I attribute the demise of morals in the youth in the USA to the fact we are no longer able to disipline our children without threat of going to jail. The children are taught this at school and have actually had parents locked up. They do not value or appreciate the education they receive. We have a high dropout rate with teens having babies that neither they nor their parents can support, so they become a social charge. I asy "spare the rod, spoil the child"

    warmest regards,


  • MercuryNewsOnline profile image

    MercuryNewsOnline 8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Thank you for the wonderful comment. When I was working with our indigenous communities in the Philippines, I saw how eager poor tribal children are to go to school. Some of them walk for 2 hours from their hinterland homes in the morning enroute to their schools. Thanks for the support of sponsors, many of them are now teachers and professionals helping their own communities. Yes, children and the youth of today are the hope and future of every nation.

  • profile image

    Appoline P. Aldea 8 years ago

    Born in Asia ,lived in Canada and Italy, I saw the value of education for our children is thier human rights and privilege we need to provide to them as a parent.We should invest more and make use of the many resources we have like in Canada. Others countries like Afica, the poor children, who have the greatest needs have to wait for their resources from supporting countries and they are all willing to learn as children of God. The best inheritance We can we can give to our children is thier education and time is essence.

    They are the hope and future of every nation

  • MercuryNewsOnline profile image

    MercuryNewsOnline 8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hi Immartin - I totally agree with your observation.

  • lmmartin profile image

    lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

    Hi MercuryNewsOnline -- yes there is room for improvement in the early childhood education across the nation. Although, I don't know that I agree with children in such a regimented environement much before the age of 4 or 5. Day care is truly a more pressing need, and the good ones do have elements of the kindergarten about them, with more flexibility. But they are expensive erego not accessible to those that need them the most.