All-day kindergarten

All-day kindergarten is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. United States school districts that have not yet moved to full-day kindergartens are looking for funds to extend the school day. The United States is offering incentives for school districts, especially in the poorer districts. Benefits of full-day kindergarten include an easier transition into first grade. According to an Education Week article teachers feel that pupils are exposed to more than they would be in a two- to three-hour day. Children adjust well to the extended day. There are opponents who question the reason for full-day kindergarten. There are those who feel that all day kindergarten is not an effort to improve student achievement, but more of an effort to fulfill obligations of the No Child Left Behind Act. However, research has found a wide range of effects between involvement in full-day kindergarten and performance in school. Comparisons between the two programs found that full-day kindergartners demonstrated more independent learning, productivity, and classroom involvement than half-day kindergartners.[citation needed] They were also more likely to approach the teacher due to the fact they were more comfortable with their surroundings, thereby expressing less withdrawal, shyness, and anger than half-day kindergartners.

Full day kindergarten programs should provide developmentally appropriate, informal, intellectually engaging new learning with past experiences using hands-on activities throughout the day. A longer day offers interaction between children and adults, and it allows more curriculum to be taught in the school day. Although it makes for a long day, children become accustomed to the schedule and it makes the transition into first grade much easier. It is important that kindergarten be a fun setting for children to enjoy and want to attend. Kindergarten is their first real educational experience and it should leave a positive impact on their desire to learn and their outlook of school purpose.