jump to navigation

Policy Report — Making the Most of Kindergarten May 8, 2008

Posted by kindergartenwatch in Early Learning, Funding.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

If you’re interested in some research on the benefits vs. costs of all-day kindergarten, consider reviewing the Making the Most of Kindergarten: Present Trends and Future Issues in the Provision of Full-day Programs report.

The policy report was produced by the National Institute for Early Education Research, and it discusses trends, trade-offs of benefits vs. costs, and identifies areas where more research is needed. The report was completed in 2005, so some data may be outdated, but the general findings are enlightening.

One takeaway is how regions and states vary in terms of funding and access. You can see how Washington State stacks up against other states, in terms of access and funding. For example, some states provide access to full-day kindergarten for all families, and some fund full-day kindergarten at a rate higher than half-day kindergarten.

In most districts in Washington State, all students are only funded at .5 of an FTE, regardless of whether they’re in full-day or half-day. The state is starting to phase in full-day for some students in some districts, but other districts are still funded for half-day only. In many districts, most parents help make up the difference, typically paying a few hundred dollars a month.

The report includes some recommendations, including the importance of considering full-day programs, while weighing the benefits against costs. The report also suggests that districts should be strategic when implementing full-day kindergarten to ensure all students get maximum benefits. The report also suggests that more research is needed.

Advertisements

Kindergarten investment — pay now or pay later? April 22, 2008

Posted by kindergartenwatch in Early Learning.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

If children get a stronger start in school, some studies show that districts will pay less in the long-term for remedial programs or to retain students who can’t keep up.

Full-day kindergarten produces cost savings to schools as fewer students will require remediation services in later grades or be retained in a lower grade level,” according to the Full Story on Full Day report by the Washington Economic Opportunity Institute.

In a Minnesota study, students in all-day programs showed increases in every skill tested, which helped to close achievement gaps. Here are two examples:

 After a Winona elementary school implemented an all-day K program, the number of “learning disabled” students dropped by 25%; children’s letter sound recognition increased 34%; and children’s knowledge of upper and lower case letters increased 24%.

–Elementary Principal Judy Davis

In Burnsville ‘s all-day K program, researchers found significant increases on every academic skill measured by pre-and post-tests, as well as elimination of the achievement gap among all racial/ethnic groups at the end of the kindergarten year.
 

–Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191
Superintendent Dr. Benjamin Kanninen

It seems like the better option is to make the investment in all-day kindergarten now, give chidren a better footing, and help close some learning gaps.

Currently, districts can offer all-day programs for a monthly charge to parents, when space is available. A few districts are phasing in paid, all-day programs, but the phase-in does not yet impact all districts.

Districts are currently not required to find space for all-day programs, and some hold lotteries for the available slots.

Full Story on Full Day: An Analysis of Kindergarten in Washington State

All Day, Every Day Kindergarten: Minneapolis Foundation 

Invest Now or Pay Later: Pennsylvania Build Initiative

School Improvements in Maryland

Full-Day Kindergarten Research

 

Upcoming seminars on kindergarten readiness April 17, 2008

Posted by kindergartenwatch in Early Learning.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Do you want to know what we can all do to help children prepare for school? In the next few weeks, a seminar called “Preventing the Kindergarten Readiness Gap”  will be coming to several cities and towns.

The one-day workshop is sponsored by the National Children’s Reading Foundation. Click on the seminar link above for details about cost and locations.

Early learning starts long before kindergarten, and can help prevent children from falling behind. You can read more background on kindergarten readiness in the To the Point Blog by Your Learning Center.