Long-Term Benefits of Full-Day Kindergarten: A Longitudinal Population-Based Study
Early Child Development and Care, 2014
28 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2014
Date Written: June 4, 2014
In the first longitudinal, population-based study of full-day kindergarten (FDK) outcomes beyond primary school in Canada, we used linked administrative data to follow 15 kindergarten cohorts (n ranging from 112 to 736) up to grade 9. Provincial assessments conducted in grades 3, 7, and 8 and course marks and credits earned in grade 9 were compared between FDK and half-day kindergarten (HDK) students in both targeted and universal FDK programmes. Propensity score matched cohort and stepped-wedge designs allowed for stronger causal inferences than previous research on FDK. We found limited long-term benefits of FDK, specific to the type of programme, outcomes examined, and subpopulations. FDK programmes targeted at low-income areas showed longterm improvements in numeracy for lower income girls. Our results suggest that expectations for wide-ranging long-term academic benefits of FDK are unwarranted.
Keywords: full-day kindergarten; population-based; propensity score; stepped wedge; socioeconomic status; academic achievement; assessment
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