Path 4 - Prepare children in disadvantaged areas and children with difficulties for starting school
The developmental level of a child when he or she begins school has a major influence on the first stages of his or her education. The prevention of failure in school therefore requires prompt action during early childhood and at the time the child is starting school.
The school boards will establish links with daycare services in order to facilitate children’s transition to school. Teachers will thus be in a position to act as quickly as possible with children with special needs. Incidentally, in disadvantaged areas, many children attend kindergarten for four-year-olds half-time and the school daycare service for the rest of the day. It is important that close ties exist between the educators in these services and the teaching staff of the school.
Support for early childhood
In the plan to increase the number of places in daycare services (15 000 places by 2013), priority will be accorded to projects in disadvantaged areas.
Measures to support daycare attendance by children from disadvantaged areas will be continued, including:
- free access to five half-days of daycare per week for children whose parents receive income assistance
- additional funding for daycare services that have a significant number of children from disadvantaged areas
Sharing of best practices
An inventory of best practices in supporting early childhood learning will be created and distributed to daycare centres and the preschool education sector.
Measures adopted by five school boards from the Montréal region have enabled them to use credible data to take quick and concerted action to better provide support to the young people who are most at risk of dropping out. The contributions of these school boards were invaluable to the investigation En route pour l’école carried out by the Direction de santé publique and the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal, allowing them to establish the extent to which more than 10 000 Montréal preschool children were prepared for school.