Should Kindergarten Children Attend School All Day Every Day?

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1984


Historically, kindergartens began as full-day programs, but during World War II the shortage of teachers and building space and the increased birth rate produced a cutback to half-day kindergartens. Full-day kindergartens surfaced again during the 1960's and 1970's. Many contemporary studies report significant results in favor of full-day kindergarten. The present report discusses the results of research conducted during a 10-year period in rural, southern Minnesota. This research compared three attendance patterns: all-day everyday, half-day everyday, and all-day alternate day. The first three studies used the Metropolitan Readiness Test to compare class groups representing the three attendance patterns. A later study used this test to compare kindergarten classes 5 years apart in the same school districts. While the teachers and curriculum were the same, in one case the district had changed from all-day everyday attendance to all-day alternate day attendance. In another district, the change was from all-day alternate day attendance to half-day everyday attendance. It was concluded that, for the particular children studied, the all-day everyday kindergarten program was superior to both other attendance patterns. In addition, the half-day everyday program resulted in higher performance for children than did the all-day alternate day program.


Elementary and Literacy Education Department

Publication Title

Mankato Statement: The Journal of the College of Education

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