Early Childhood Development is a priority for the Government of Northwest Territories. The first five years of a child’s life are the most critical for healthy, mental, physical and social development. Junior Kindergarten/Kindergarten builds on these principles through a distinct play-based curriculum designed to foster a sense of identity, conversation and communication, collaboration and teamwork, problem solving and decision-making, creativity and innovation, and the basics of reading, writing and mathematics. Children are in a group with their peers, and learn, through playing, how to make friends, express themselves, explore, and connect their experiences in an environment focused on stimulating curiosity and helping them develop skills, interests and healthy behaviors.
The Government of the Northwest Territories has made a commitment to continue to invest in quality early childhood development. The mandate of the 18th Legislative Assembly identified a need for action to support quality early childhood development through free and optional, play-based care for 4-year-old children in the NWT. The Department of Education, Culture and Employment outlines the new Junior Kindergarten (JK) program in the NWT Right from the Start: Early Childhood Development Framework and Action Plan.
Here is a video to get a glimpse of what a day in a Junior Kindergarten/Kindergarten classroom looks like.