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Full-day kindergarten: Exploring an option for extended learning

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Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
Brewster, Cori and Railsback, Jennifer
Book / booklet
Publication Date: 
1 Dec 2002


Also known as all-day or extended-day kindergarten, fullday kindergarten has become an increasingly popular scheduling option in U.S. schools during the past three decades. Since the 1970s the number of U.S. children enrolled in full-day kindergarten has more than tripled.

As full-day kindergarten generates increased attention from both parents and policymakers, one thing is certain: teachers, administrators, school board members [and early childhood educators] will continue to be asked to weigh the costs and benefits of offering full-day versus half-day or alternating full-day kindergarten.

This booklet provides a brief review of literature on full-day programs and highlights important considerations for educators, policymakers, and parents assessing their kindergarten options. The final section of the booklet, the Northwest Sampler, profiles several full-day kindergartens already in place in Northwest schools.