I'm here today, to announce with a great deal of pride, that Ontario will become the first jurisdiction in North America to offer full day learning for our four and five year old students.

This program will begin in September of 2010. We believe we will be able to accommodate some 35,000 students at that point in time.

The following year, September 2011, we will take it up to 50,000 students.

The classroom will be presided over by a teacher and an early childhood educator. We will have an average of 26 students in a class, or ratio of one to 13.

So, why are we doing this? Especially now, given our economic circumstances? Why would we do this? A whole bunch of reasons.

First of all, parents everywhere are the same. All we want is for our children to grow up and be the very best that they might be, to achieve their greatest potential. That's reason number one.

Number two. In a highly competitive, globalized, knowledge-based economy, it is absolutely essential that we invest in the younger generation to ensure that we build a powerful work force that can compete and win against the best, anywhere on this planet.

There is an overwhelming consensus on the need for us to do this. The investment that we are committing to make today is all about improving education for our kids, it's about strengthening our economy, and by the way, it means better health outcomes for our kids.

It's a win - win - win.

Thank you very much.

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