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Full-day kindergarten study highlights

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Ontario Ministry of Education
government document
Publication Date: 
3 Sep 2013



A study of full-day kindergarten (FDK) was conducted in partnership with Queen's and McMaster universities from 2010-2012.

The purpose of this research was to measure the impact of FDK, and to help identify effective practices to improve the delivery of the program moving forward.

Quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods such as data collection, case studies, phone interviews, online surveys, classroom observation and focus groups were used in schools across the province over the two-year period.

The current quantitative results focus on data from 693 children - 52 per cent girls, 48 per cent boys - from 125 participating schools:

  • 258 children were enrolled in FDK for two years (junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten)
  • 210 children who took one year of FDK (senior kindergarten only)
  • 225 children had no exposure to FDK.

The Early Development Instrument (EDI), which is a UNESCO-reviewed measurement of early childhood development, was used to measure student development in the following five areas:

  • Physical health and well-being
  • Social competence
  • Emotional maturity
  • Language and cognition
  • Communication skills and general knowledge.

Key findings from the analysis include:

  • Overall, students in FDK are better prepared to enter Grade 1 and to be more successful in school.
  • In every area, students improved their readiness for Grade 1 and accelerated their development.
  • Comparisons of children with two years of FDK instruction and children with no FDK instruction showed that FDK:
  1. Reduced risks in social competence development from 10.5 per cent to 5.2 per cen
  2. Reduced risks in language and cognitive development from 16.4 per cent to 4.3 per cent.
  3. Reduced risks in communication skills and general knowledge development from 10.5 per cent to 5.6 per cent.


Related link:

Parents, researchers hopeful of positive effects from Ontario's full-day kindergarten, Globe and Mail, 3 Sep 13