Benefits of Full-Day Kindergarten

Washington is behind the nation in implementing full-day kindergarten (FDK). Nationwide, 65 percent of kindergartners are in full-day programs but in Washington only 47 percent of kindergartners are in FDK. However, only half of those children (22 percent) are in state-funded FDK, despite the requirement that the state provide full-day kindergarten to all kindergartners by 2017-18.[i]

Research finds numerous benefits of full-day kindergarten. Students who attend Full-Day K are more likely to:

  • Read and do math at a higher level than their peers who only attended half-day K. In the Evergreen School District, over 90% of the students that attended Full-Day K are reading at or above grade level as measured by the Individual Reading Inventory. Since students in Full-Day K see such large gains, this also helps close the achievement gap.
  • Not need to repeat grades. A study done in Philadelphia found that students who attended Full-Day K were more than twice as likely as non-kindergarten students and 26% more likely than half-day K students to make it to the third and fourth grades without having to repeat a grade.
  • Be ready and more prepared for the next grade. Students who attend Full-Day K have greater skills when it comes to “independent learning, classroom involvement, productivity in work with peers, and reflectiveness” than their half-day K peers.

Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from Full-Day Kindergarten. In Bremerton, teachers participated in a survey and said that Full-Day K enabled them to identify and address potential learning disabilities in their students. Potentially, finding out whether a student has a learning disability early on could prevent them from having to enroll in a special education program in later grades.

In order to prepare students for the careers of tomorrow, Washington must implement and fund Full-Day Kindergarten. Read more about LEV’s advocacy agenda here. For a more detailed look at the benefits of Full-Day K (with citations), read our white paper.



[i]  Foundation for Child Development. PreK-3rd: Putting Full-Day Kindergarten in the Middle.; Conversation with OSPI, Dec. 13, 2012.

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  1. Kendall Ryder August 22, 2016

    I like that kindergarten helps to prepare children for their later schooling years! I think it is so important that a child attend preschool and kindergarten. That way, they can learn how to socialize with others and learn how to learn!


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