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Economics in Education Study Concludes , “academic returns associated with full-day kindergarten are quite low or non-existent,”

October 16,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in his study on Full day vs Half day Kindergarten Philip DeCicca from the Department of Economics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. concludes ,”Academic gains for children who attend full-day kindergarten programs compared to those who attend half-day programs are so short-lived that policymakers should take a hard look at whether the additional cost of full-day programs is worthwhile,

DeCicca explained ,“My findings suggest that, on average, the academic returns associated with full-day kindergarten are quite low or non-existent,”

In the study, DeCicca analyzed kindergarten and 1st grade reading and math test scores for children from 714 schools who attended half-day or full day kindergarten programs.

While children in full-day programs did score higher in reading and math than their half-day counterparts at the end of kindergarten, those gains had evaporated by the end of 1st grade, the researcher reports. This was true for both girls and boys and black and Hispanic children. In fact, Hispanic children who attended full-day kindergarten programs performed worse at the end of 1st grade than children who attended half-day kindergarten.

“The estimated pattern of results suggests that full-day kindergarten substantially raises the math and reading achievement of children of all races,” DeCicca writes. “However, these gains are much smaller in magnitude when measured via similar tests just one year later. In other words, the short-run impact of full-day kindergarten has depreciated considerably by the end of first grade.”