Lower the minimum age eligible for home education grants to five years old.

Lower the minimum age eligible for home education grants to five years old.

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Colin MacIntyre started this petition to Adriana LaGrange (Minister of Education) and

Very young students who are being educated at home should be eligible to receive the same advantages as their peers in public education.

As parents of young children being educated at home in Alberta, my wife and I are advocating that the minimum age eligible to receive a home education grant be changed immediately to five years of age. Frankly, it ought to be a matter of course that home education lines up with provincial public education, at least in terms of eligible age.

It is immaterial that the current policy only requires children between the ages of six and sixteen to attend school. This is because virtually all families seek to educate their children beginning at (at least) five years of age. My own son, Will, is a five-year-old, and is excelling in many subjects. I have taught young children in several countries, and he is as diligent as any five-year-old student I have ever seen. We're proud parents, and we also work hard to give both of our children excellent learning opportunities. But, regardless of Will's performance, and regardless of our hard work, it is obvious to us that financial resources are necessary for young students, no matter the venue—public or at home.

According to the Alberta Ministry of Education's own website, parents choosing home education have the primary responsibility for planning, managing, providing, evaluating and supervising their children’s courses of study. They must develop a home education program that enables the student to achieve appropriate learning outcomes. This can be done well with adequate funding. Home schooling parents can be extremely resourceful people.

Through its Early Childhood Services program, Alberta is currently the only province in Canada that funds education support for children as young as 2 years 8 months. This is fantastic. As an Albertan, I am proud to see my home province addressing the unique requirements of those with special needs.

While families engaged in home education do recognize that public education is costly, both fairness and necessity demand that an equivalent policy status be afforded young children educated in the home, even if the funding level is not the same at the moment. As an innovator, historically, in home education, Alberta should also align home education policy with public education policy in a thoughtful, reasonable way.

I believe this change is reasonable. I believe that children who are five years of age, supervised by a school authority and committed to an education plan, are a worthwhile investment for any province. Alberta has an opportunity to lead the way on this one.

There are many more things the Ministry of Education can change to make education more accommodating for everyone. Funding level for home education is another issue that needs to be addressed, but that is perhaps for another time. I and everyone who signs this petition agrees that making *this* change as soon as possible is a big step in the right direction for the province of Alberta.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!