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!

  2. Finn Stewart January 16, 2017

    It’s interesting how you mention that students who attend full day kindergarten have greater skills when it comes to independent learning. My wife and I weren’t sure if we were going to send our daughter to kindergarten because we thought she might need more time. But it sounds like kindergarten helps build the foundation she will need for the rest of her academic career.

  3. kyle johnson May 3, 2017

    This article has taught me a lot about kindergarten programs. It was interesting to learn that these type of services can help you to know how to be prepared for the next grade. I hope this article can help us to know how to give my nieces and nephews the upper hand when it comes to their education.


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