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Province to expand pre-primary education program to more schools in Pictou County

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The province is adding 130 new pre-primary classes in 87 schools across Nova Scotia starting this fall, including several in Pictou County.

Premier Stephen McNeil said Wednesday that more than 800 four-year-olds were signed up this year and an expanded program will give Nova Scotian children a “strong foundation for school.”

Local schools offering pre-primary include Thorburn Consolidated School and Frank H. MacDonald Elementary and Walter Duggan Consolidated School in Westville. The program is currently offered at New Glasgow Academy and Trenton Elementary School.

The government says the expansion of pre-primary will create more opportunities for early childhood educators in Nova Scotia, as the program will be rolled out province-wide by September 2020.

The program will be expanded each year until then, by which time it will be available to all four-year-olds, according to the province.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is partnering with Nova Scotia Works Employment Services and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education to recruit early childhood educators.

“The demand from families for a program in more communities is high and delivering the program through a licensed child care provider may give more children in Nova Scotia the opportunity, more quickly, to have access to this program,” said Minister of Education Zach Churchill.

Families who live within a school community that is offering pre-primary and wish to register their child for the program, can contact their local school board to learn more about the registration process.

The Conseil scolaire acadien provincial will deliver the provincial Pre-primary Program through its Grandir en français program.

For a full list of the new pre-primary locations and more information about the program, please visit www.ednet.ns.ca/pre-primary .

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