Full-day kindergarten programs allow students to develop strong academic, social and emotional skills, building a strong platform for learning for children of all backgrounds. All children in full-day classes demonstrate greater reading and mathematics gains than those in half-day programs. And when it comes to minority and low-income families, a full-day program also helps to close achievement gaps between young children and their peers. They’re a good investment too, with research showing that quality early childhood programs generate returns of three to one or more by lowering grade retention and dropout rates later in children’s school careers.
However, as a result of reduced funds since the governor took office, many districts across the state have either eliminated or reduced full-day kindergarten. In 2012-13, only 26 percent of Bucks County students were enrolled in a full-day program, according to Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY).
And in the same time period, only 52 percent of Montgomery County’s kindergartners attended full-day programs.
In a highly competitive world, we believe that we need to give our students the best possible chance to succeed. Share your point of view on these issues with your legislators.
Charts courtesy of Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY).