As the graduating class of 2034 heads to kindergarten this year, parents want to choose the program that best supports their child’s development for the academic, social and emotional requirements of grade one. There has long since been debate surrounding the pros and cons of half-day versus full-day kindergarten. It is important to include research-backed evidence within your family dynamic when choosing between the programs.
Children Attending Full-Day Kindergarten are Better Prepared for Grade One
Those who support full-day kindergarten argue that it provides students with a more dedicated, enriched academic environment to better prepare for school readiness. The Ontario Ministry of Education partnered with Queens and McMaster universities to study grade one performance in children who attended full-day kindergarten. The study found that “grade 1 reading, writing and math grades were 5% higher for full-day kindergarten.” Additionally, reading levels displayed 6.4% higher competency amongst full-day kindergarten students. The study concluded that “full-day kindergarten reduces risks in language and cognitive development, social competence, communication skills and general knowledge.”
Full-Day Kindergarten Vs. Half-Day Kindergarten Sustain No Long-Term Academic Advantage
The previous research proves that full-day kindergarteners are better prepared to enter grade one, contributing to their early confidence. However, research performed by Charles Milligan testifies that the benefits of full-day kindergarten are short-lived. While full-day kindergarteners can experience a boost up to grade two, any academic advantages do not show in performance throughout later years. Studying 208 elementary students who had completed full-day, half-day and hybrid kindergarten, Milligan compared their performance using the California Standardized Testing and Reporting Assessment as well as the California Achievement Test 6th Edition survey. His study concluded that “there were no significant differences in the scores of students who attended an all-day kindergarten and those who did not.” Milligan reasoned this with young children’s learning needs varying across the families, language and cultures they grow up in.
The Difference Between Full-Day and Half-Day Kindergarten
If there is no long-term difference in performance from students of half-day kindergarten to full-day kindergarten, then why is there a choice between the two? The choice between two programs gives families the flexibility to introduce education to their children in the way that works best for them. While there is no black and white guideline of which kindergarten program you should choose, if your family is made up of working parents on the go, full-day kindergarten makes sense to ensure your children’s day is filled with enrichment and a reliable, safe place for your child to spend the day. Half-day kindergarten allows families the time to send their children to a more formal classroom environment while providing another half-day of social activities that fit the needs of their child.
One style of kindergarten does not fit all children. Asasa Academy provides J/K and Kindergarten half-day and full-day options for your family. There is no need to worry that your child may be missing out – both versions of our private Calgary kindergarten provide early learning in ELA, math, science, social, PE, health, life skills and fine arts. Focus not on the length of the school day but on how that day is being used for your child’s ultimate benefit. With private kindergarten, Asasa Academy provides intimate settings to nurture the pace of each child as they open their minds to education.