In the early 1990s, teachers noticed that children in poverty entered kindergarten or grade one lacking many social, language, and learning skills. Sometimes their educational opportunities were minimal, their health jeopardized, and their self esteem low. As a result, these students were behind before they even got started.
In 1991, four fully-funded preschools were formed at King George, Pleasant Hill, Princess Alexandra, and Westmount Community Schools. Funding came from the province, service clubs, professional associations, churches, and individuals. Currently, the Ministry of Education funds approximately 35 prekindergarten programs in Saskatoon and the surrounding area.
The Saskatoon Inner City Preschool Foundation was created in 1994. In 1998 the name was changed to the Saskatoon Preschool Foundation as it became evident that there were families in all parts of our city having difficulty accessing preschool education for their children due to financial constraints.
Although not involved in their operations, the Foundation works in cooperation with approximately 115 preschool-type organizations in Saskatoon and area.
How You Can Help
Please consider donating to the Foundation! Research tells us that early learning programs benefit children from all socioeconomic backgrounds in terms of academic success during primary grades and long term measures of success such as high school graduation.
Why is PreSchool Important?
Research also indicates that long term benefits for children in low socioeconomic families are the most significant related to high school graduation rates and prosocial behavior.
Standardized assessments of Kindergarten children at the beginning of the school year suggest that children who have attended preschool begin kindergarten with a 4 to 8 month advantage in areas such as:
Most studies of the social behavior have found persistent positive effects and none have found persistent negative effects.
Another long term benefit includes decreased involvement in juvenile delinquency and adult crime.
Given the limited number of publicly funded prekindergarten programs in Saskatoon, many parents are left with the financial responsibilities of sending their children to preschool. Tuition for community preschool averages $1000/year, which is well beyond the financial resources of many families. Preschool tuition subsidies go a long way toward alleviating this situation.
References for this information are available upon request ([email protected])