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Study Shows Benefits of Full-day Kindergarten

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Study Shows Benefits of Full-day Kindergarten

Ontario Government Giving Children Best Start

Ministry of Education

Ontario's full-day kindergarten (FDK) program is giving children a better start in school and preparing them for success in Grade 1.

Education Minister Liz Sandals visited full-day kindergarten students, teachers and staff at Ogden Junior Public School for the first day of school where she provided details on a study conducted in partnership with Queen's and McMaster universities on FDK.

The study measured the progress and development of students who were enrolled in FDK compared to those who participated in half-day programs. 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:

  • Reduced risks in social competence development from 10.5 per cent to 5.2 per cent.

  • Reduced risks in language and cognitive development from 16.4 per cent to 4.3 per cent.

  • Reduced risks in communication skills and general knowledge development from 10.5 per cent to 5.6 per cent.

Giving the province's youngest learners the tools they need to succeed in Grade 1 and beyond is part of the Ontario government's plan to prepare students for a productive and successful future and build a fair and prosperous society.

Quick Facts

  • The complete study is expected to be available in fall 2013.
  • FDK is available to 75 per cent of Ontario’s four- and five-year olds this school year. That means that more than 180,000 of the province’s youngest students will enjoy the benefits of FDK in approximately 2,600 schools across the province.
  • 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.
  • Ontario families can save up to $6,500 per year in child care costs by enrolling their child in FDK.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“We are proud of the success of our full-day kindergarten program. These new findings show that we are giving children a stronger start in school and in life. FDK is helping our youngest learners develop the valuable skills that will give them every opportunity to succeed.”

Liz Sandals

Minister of Education

“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.”

Dr. Mary-Louise Vanderlee

Principal Evaluator, Social Program Evaluation Group and Associate Professor, Brock University

“Our evaluation shows the benefits of full-day kindergarten. 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 child’s social skills, vocabulary, and capacity to work through problems and self-regulate to a greater degree than they had prior to FDK entry.”

Dr. Ray DeV. Peters

Research Director, Better Beginnings, Better Futures Research Group, Queen’s University

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