For the most part, children in Canada attend kindergarten for a year or two at the age of four or five by choice. School then becomes mandatory as of grade one, which tends to be at the age of six years old. Across most of Canada, the main language of school-level education is English. However, French-language education is widely available throughout the country. Private education and other schooling systems — for example, religious schools — are also available at all three levels.
While some provinces have their own qualifications framework, the most popular vocational qualifications are the Red Seal credentials which are recognized across all provinces. About 6% of Canadian grade ten students are in private schools, most of which are in Quebec. A Statistics Canada study from 2015 found that these students tend to have higher test scores and future educational attainment than their public school counterparts. Rather than enjoying superior resources and educational practices, the most likely explanation for this discrepancy is the higher expectation of success that students experience from their parents, teachers, and fellow students. This is the case in both Ontario and British Columbia where the provincial governments provide funding directly to schools.
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Implementation of Junior Kindergarten began in the Northwest Territories during the 2017–18 school year, an expansion of an earlier pilot project in several smaller communities in the territory. In 2019, the Government of Quebec announced the creation of kindergarten classes for four-year-olds in the province’s elementary schools. The length of study at the secondary level also differs in Quebec, with the final grade of secondary schools in the province being Grade 11/Secondaire V. As education is a provincial matter, the length of study varies depending on the province, although the majority of public early childhood, elementary, and secondary education programs in Canada begin in kindergarten and end after Grade 12 .
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Typically, students must complete a bachelor of education degree or a bachelor’s degree with an additional education certification in order to teach at any level, and several provinces require further subject qualifications for secondary school teachers. Following initial education, the majority of provinces require another form of assessment, either through an examination or a certification process. The requirements for induction also vary across the provinces, although most do have at least an informal orientation period. Ontario provides support for recent immigrants through a province-wide network of settlement centers. These centers offer one-stop access to tutoring, after-school activities, and employment services. In 加拿大教育制度 , the Settlement Workers in Schools program places settlement workers directly in Ontario schools with high proportions of recent immigrants.
The Ontario Ministry of Education provides sample activities and rubrics by grade level and subject to help teachers incorporate activities and assessments aligned with the updated curriculum. In British Columbia, the majority of childcare centers are run by private or non-profit organizations. The government issues licenses for childcare providers, and municipalities inspect centers regularly to ensure they meet standards for health and safety. The many provincial and municipal regulations, however, result in a fragmented system, and childcare centers operate at varying levels of effectiveness with limited accountability. To address this, the province moved childcare under the authority of the Ministry of Education in 2022 to integrate early childhood education with K–12 programming. In British Columbia, teacher appraisal is not required, but many principals meet with teachers to develop professional learning plans for the school year.