Enrollment in full-day kindergarten has increased by more than 10% — from 85.6% to 95.7% — since 2006, according to the Missouri Top Ten by 20 Dashboard . This is great news for the state of Missouri.
The fact that Missouri offers full-day kindergarten is a sign that Missouri is ahead of the national learning curve for the public education of young students. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, 94% of Missouri’s children attend full-day kindergarten, while only ten states and the District of Columbia require full-day kindergarten to be provided and publicly funded at all. Thirty-four states require at least half-day kindergarten, and six have no requirement at all for public kindergarten programs.
Is Full-Day Kindergarten Overrated?
Research shows that students who attend full-day kindergarten programs build stronger academic foundations that their peers who attend part-day programs or don’t attend kindergarten.
Strategies for Children cites research that students who attend full-day kindergarten programs learn more in reading and math and exhibit more independent learning, classroom involvement, and productivity in work with peers than children who are enrolled in half-day kindergarten programs.
At-risk and low-income students, especially, benefit from full-time kindergarten instruction.
A study of 17,600 Philadelphia students found not only that low-income students performed better in full-day than half-day kindergarten, but that school districts saved a substantial sum of money in reduced retention rates of those full-time kindergarten students in the first, second and third grades.
Missouri has a 22% child poverty rate and 34% of Missouri’s children live in single parent families. 146,000 Missourians receive WIC (Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program) support, and nearly half a million adults and children in Missouri receive welfare.
When so many of Missouri’s students and families are low-income, Missouri’s record high enrollment in full-day kindergarten is especially meaningful. We are setting the next generation of students up for academic — and life – success.
Is your child or a child in your care nearing kindergarten age? Enrollment in Missouri’s full-time kindergarten programs is free in most districts. Contact your local public school district to find out how to enroll your child.
Posted on Fri, June 14, 2013
by MOParent filed under