September 19, 2013 – A study conducted in partnership with Queen's and McMaster Universities measured the progress and development of students who were enrolled in full day kindergarten (FDK) compared to those who were enrolled in half day programs and in every aspect, FDK students accelerated their development and improved their readiness for Grade One.
Children that received two years of FDK instruction compared to children that did not receive any kind of kindergarten instruction confirmed:
- Reduced risk in social competence development from 10.5% to 5.2%
- Reduced risk in language and cognitive development from 16.4% to 4.3%
- Reduced risk in communication skills & general knowledge development from 10.5% to 5.6%
Facts for Every Parent
- 75% of four and five year old children now have access to FDK which means that 180,000 of our youngest students will reap the benefits of FDK in approximately 2,600 schools across Ontario.
- By September 2014, FDK will be available in all elementary schools with the support of 3,800 more teaching positions and up to 20,000 early childhood educator positions.
- Families will be able to save up to $6,500.00 per year in childcare costs by enrolling their child in FDK.
Dr. Mary-Louise Vanderlee, Principal Evaluator, Social Program Evaluation Group and Associate Professor at Brock University states, "Our research, one of the largest early learning studies, provides ample evidence of the success of Ontario's full day, kindergarten program. We found that children in full day, every day kindergarten typically adapt quicker to routines, engage in tasks for longer periods of time, and have much more exposure to experiences that support self-regulation, than in half day or alternate day programs."
"Our evaluation shows the benefits of full day kindergarten," says Dr. Ray DeV. Peters, Research Director for Better Beginnings and Better Futures Research Group at Queen's University.
"Educators noticed that they were able to introduce concepts to children sooner than they had in the past with half-day programs. Parents noticed the growth in their children's social skills, vocabulary and capacity to work through problems and self-regulate to a greater degree than they had prior to FDK entry."
This initiative will provide children with a 'healthy head start' and the educational tools they need to not only succeed academically in their elementary years but also transfer their skills in every aspect of their life.