GNWT shares independent review of Junior Kindergarten

YELLOWKNIFE (January 28, 2016) – Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Alfred Moses today publicly released the results of an independent review of the Junior Kindergarten program following discussions with Members of the Legislative Assembly and Cabinet.

“This is an important report for all NWT parents,” said Minister Moses. “Now that I have shared it with my colleagues I am pleased to provide it publicly.  There is no doubt that early learning provides children with a better start in life.  My priority is that by continuing to advance the actions associated with our Early Childhood Framework we can ensure that we have the right programs and supports in place for all of our children.”

The Junior Kindergarten program for 4-year old children in the NWT emerged as a result of comprehensive stakeholder engagement through the Aboriginal Student Achievement strategy, the Education Renewal strategy, youth forums, and the development of Right from the Start: A Framework and Action Plan for Early Childhood Development in the Northwest Territories. This engagement with community leaders, parents, families, educators, and ECD professionals, along with international and national research, supported the approach of Junior Kindergarten as a direct bridge between early childhood development programs and entry into school.

The review of Junior Kindergarten was announced by Premier Bob McLeod during the last Assembly, with a commitment to provide the results to Members of the 18th Assembly for further consideration. As part of completing the review, an independent evaluator engaged with numerous stakeholders including parents, teachers, principals, Aboriginal governments, Aboriginal Head Start programs, the Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association, education superintendents, and licensed early childhood operators. The information was gathered through face-to-face interviews, site visits, focus group feedback sessions, web surveys, questionnaires, and a general call for submissions about the program. Approximately 460 participants contributed to the findings in the review.

“I welcome the eight recommendations of the report, and our next steps include key stakeholder engagement to ensure a transparent and inclusive approach,” said Minister Moses. “Junior Kindergarten can build on the good work that territorial early childhood programs have begun with children, to ensure they have the best opportunities right from the start.”

Copies of the summary and detailed technical review reports from the independent review of Junior Kindergarten are available at www.ece.gov.nt.ca/junior-kindergarten-information.

Media inquiries:

Jacqueline McKinnon
Manager,  Communications and Public Affairs
Education, Culture and Employment
Phone: (867) 920-6222
Email: jacqueline_mckinnon@gov.nt.ca