Kindergarten

Posted: Thu, 10/10/2013 - 2:02pm Updated: Mon, 12/01/2014 - 12:30pm

In Indiana, a school corporation is required to provide a kindergarten program for eligible students that are 5 years old on or before August 1 of the school year. 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.

In the 2013-2014 budget appropriation, IC 20-43-14 SECTION 302 states that school districts shall receive $2,448 for each full day kindergarten student reported on their ADM report for the 2013 school year in addition to one half of their funding formula allocation for each student.

In the 2014 school year, school districts will receive $2,472 per student based on the number reported on their ADM in addition to one half of their funding formula allocation. There is no separate grant application needed to receive this grant.

A school corporation or charter school that receives a distribution under this chapter may not charge a fee for enrolling in or attending full-day kindergarten in a school year.

Information

Information about Full Day Kindergarten

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.