Today one of the BC Liberal leadership candidates, Mike de Jong, MLA for Abbotsford West, announced a platform plank wherein he committed to bring in optional kindergarten for 4 year olds. I released a media statement welcoming his announcement today as it follows in the footsteps of the B.C. Green Party platform which proposed to provide free early childhood education to three and four year olds. Below I reproduce the statement.
Weaver: Mike de Jong’s free kindergarten for 4 year olds is an opportunity for collaborative politics based on good public policy and evidence
For immediate release
October 30, 2017
VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver welcomed B.C. Liberal leadership candidate Mike de Jong’s campaign platform plank that would give free optional kindergarten for 4 year olds. This comes on the heels of a Conference Board of Canada report documenting the benefits of investments into Early Childhood Education on Friday. De Jong’s policy follows in the footsteps of the B.C. Green Party platform which proposed to provide free early childhood education to three and four year olds.
“I am delighted that Mr. de Jong is proposing this excellent evidence-based policy as part of his B.C. Liberal leadership campaign,” said Weaver.
“Early childhood education (ECE) yields higher returns than education at any other level. Last week’s Conference Board of Canada report found that every dollar invested in early childhood education yields $6 down the road. Providing free ECE would also help families struggling with the effects of the affordability crisis. This is good public policy that puts people first – plain and simple.
“What’s most exciting is that this demonstrates the enormous opportunity to work together across party lines in order to deliver for British Columbians. We all want the same thing: to ensure a high quality of life for the people we represent. When we focus on common ground, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.
“For far too long, politics in British Columbia has been about power, with opposition parties first instinct to take partisan shots at government with the sole aim of getting back into power themselves. This status quo leads to divisive, inflammatory and unproductive politics, much like we have witnessed south of the border. There is no better opportunity to do things differently than in a minority government. I welcome the opportunity to work with Mr. de Jong, and all members of the B.C. Liberal caucus, on this issue and other ways in which we can collaborate to make good, evidence-based policies a reality for British Columbians.”
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
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