Full Day Kindergarten
Posted: Mon, 10/17/2011 - 9:56am Updated: Fri, 02/22/2013 - 2:56pm
In Indiana, a school corporation is required to provide a kindergarten program for eligible students. Although providing a half-day kindergarten program satisfies this requirement, a school corporation may provide a full day kindergarten program as an alternative or in addition to a separate half-day kindergarten program. Additional funding for providing a full day kindergarten program is available through a Full Day Kindergarten (FDK) Grant.
On March 20, 2012, Governor Daniels signed House Enrolled Act 1376. This new law provides an opportunity for each school district and charter school to receive $2,400 per student enrolled and attending full day kindergarten on the September count date. It should be noted that any school receiving this grant may not charge a fee for students enrolled in a full day kindergarten program for the school year beginning July 1, 2012 and ending June 30, 2013. School districts and charter schools must apply for the grant in order to receive this funding.
- General Guidance for Funding FDK Programs (2012-13)
- 2010-11 Letter to Superintendents Regarding Full Day Kindergarten Grant
- Frequently Asked Questions about Kindergarten Programs
- Supplement, Not Supplant
Information about Full Day Kindergarten
- Kid's Source - What Parents Should Know about Full Day Kindergarten
- Kindergarten Brochure
- Kindergarten Entrance Law
- Making the Most of Kindergarten: Present Trends and Future Issues in the Provision of Full Day Programs
- Short-Lived Gains or Enduring Benefits? The Long-Term Impact of Full Day Kindergarten
- The Effects of Full Day vs. Half-Day Kindergarten: Review and Analysis of National and Indiana Data
Benefits of Full Day Kindergarten
- Teachers reported significantly greater progress in literacy, math, general learning skills, and social skills for full day children.
Full day kindergarten children spend more time in teacher-directed individual work and learning centers. Elicker and Mathur (1997) found that full day kindergarten allowed children to be more actively engaged and more positive in their activities.
- Researchers find strong support for quality full day kindergarten programs among parents and educators.
Parents and educators report that full day kindergarten is less rushed with opportunities for extending learning experiences, flexibility to address individual students' needs and better communication between home and school (Elicker and Mathur, 1997; Hough and Bryde, 1996; Wichita Public Schools, 1989).
- The full day schedule allows more appropriate challenges for children at all developmental levels.
For advanced students, there is time to complete increasingly challenging long-term projects. For children with developmental delays or those "at-risk" for school problems, there is more time for completion of projects and more time for teacher/student interaction.
- Full day kindergarten programs can result in social benefits.
In a longitudinal study by J.R. Cryan (1992), children in full day kindergarten programs showed more positive behavior than their peers in half-day kindergarten in the areas of originality, independent learning, involvement in classroom activities, productivity with their peers, and their approach to the teacher.
- Full day kindergarten programs can result in academic benefits.
Research analyzing 23 studies of full day kindergarten indicated that "overall, students who attend full day kindergartens manifest significantly greater achievement than students who attend half-day kindergarten" (Child Study Journal, 27(4), 273). Full day kindergarten children have fewer grade retentions and lower incidence of Title I placements (Cryan, 1992).
- School corporations in Indiana that currently provide full day kindergarten also find academic and social benefits.
A longitudinal study of full day kindergarten in the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation revealed academic, social and behavioral benefits. On standardized tests, full day kindergarten children performed significantly better than half-day kindergarten children in third, fifth, and seventh grade on the CTBS.
- The number of transitions kindergartners face in a typical day can be reduced by full day kindergarten.
Due to family work schedules, children who attend half-day may be cared for by three or more care givers over the course of a day. While full day kindergarten does not eliminate the need for child care outside of school (Elicker and Mathur, 1997), many parents who are given the option prefer full day because children may have fewer transitions.
- Two-way transportation can be an important benefit of full day kindergarten.
Currently, most school corporations in Indiana only provide one-way transportation for half-day kindergarten students. There are a number of children in Indiana who are unable to attend kindergarten because their parent(s) do not have access to transportation during the day.