Kindergampers across Canada are scrambling to prepare for the first day of kindergarten, when new guidelines for kindergarten are set to take effect.
With the federal government announcing Tuesday that it will phase out funding for Kindergamps, which are the largest privately run preschools in the country, the private sector has been scrambling to figure out how to fill the gap.
Kindergamp’s official website was set up just over a week ago.
It is not immediately clear when the site will be updated.
“It is still not clear exactly what will happen to Kindergamping,” said Jennifer Langer, a senior policy adviser with the Canadian Association of School Administrators (CASA).
“It’s a bit like the big-city school where we’re all waiting for someone to do something and there’s just no timeline for that.”
The new guidelines, which will come into effect in January 2018, include a $2-billion fund for kindergarten that will cover kindergarten teachers and the parents of children in kindergarten.
That will be divided equally between the provinces and territories, according to the guidelines.
In Ontario, a portion of the money will go to families, with the remaining amount split among the five provinces.
The Ontario government has said that parents and children will not be affected by the new rules.
The new guidelines are being met with skepticism in many communities across Canada.
“If you are the parent of a child who is currently enrolled in Kindergump, you will have to be prepared to make some changes,” said Chris Lea, a spokesperson for the Toronto district of Spadina-Fort York.
“The amount of funding you receive from your province will change and the amount of support you get will be different, so your decision will have a significant impact on your child’s experience.”
The federal government has also said that the new funding formula will help schools “support their staff to be able to take care of their students, as well as help them to maintain the programs that they have been established to operate.”
The KindergAMP program has been operating for nearly 50 years in Canada, and the first kindergarten in the nation was launched in Ontario in 1958.
The province has been working on implementing a new curriculum, curriculum changes and new staffing, but the federal guidelines do not address those changes.
“That will be the question we will be asking the provinces when they are implementing the new policies and we will have more to share about that as we get closer to the implementation,” said Langer.
The government has promised to provide more details on the new guidelines in the next few weeks.