Pre-Primary program worth saving; parents

Colin MacLean
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AMHERST - The future of Nova Scotia's pilot pre-primary program has been put in jeopardy by a recent decision to lower the age cut off date for children starting Grade Primary.
Changing the cut-off date from Oct.1 to Dec. 31 will affect a third of the kids currently enrolled in the program, said Education Department spokesman Peter MacLaughlin.
And even though the program has been largely successful, it is unlikely it will continue in its current form.
Alternatives are currently being considered, including continuing with the currant curriculum but sourcing it out to not for profit groups. But parents of those currently enrolled shouldn't worry, said MacLaughlin
"The currant pilots will continue until the end of the year."
Brian and Joanne Carter have one girl currently enrolled in the program at Cumberland North Academy and another daughter who was part of the first class two years ago.
They're disappointed the program might be disappearing. They believe it's because of this program their daughters are doing as well as they are in school.
"We're hoping and praying that it will come back," said Joanne.
The pilot program is five hours a day, five days a week. Brian did have his reservations about Terra going for five hours a day, but it turns out she loved it.
It went a long way towards getting her exited about school in general, he said.
"She looks forward to getting up and going to see her friends every day."
The province says it can't afford both the extra cost of the pilot program and adding more four-year-olds into Grade Primary. Each of the 19 pilot classes costs about $70,000 to run said MacLaughlin.
The Carter's believe the program is worth saving. Even if they have to charge for it, said Joanne.

Organizations: Education Department, Cumberland North Academy

Geographic location: AMHERST, Nova Scotia

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