A former Progressive Conservative provincial cabinet minister has been appointed to write a report on how to integrate P.E.I.'s kindergarten into the public school system.

Pat Mella, a former teacher who was also provincial treasurer for a time in the Pat Binns government, will take on the job for the current Liberal administration. As public kindergarten commissioner, she has been charged to recommend how the government can best integrate kindergarten into the school system by September 2010.

Kindergartens are currently run by private operators using a provincial curriculum. Students join the public schools in Grade 1.

Mella's mandate covers all aspects of the question:

  • Possible changes to the curriculum.
  • Qualifications required for kindergarten teachers.
  • Making space in the schools.
  • The effect on existing early childhood educators.

Her final report is due back to government in June 2009.

Mella was provincial treasurer when kindergarten was first publicly funded in 2000.