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Half-Day Kindergarten: Advantages and Disadvantages

What are the Advantages of Half-Day Programs?

Many educators still prefer half-day, everyday kindergarten. They argue that a half-day program can provide high quality educational and social experience for young children while orienting them adequately to school.

Specifically, half-day programs are viewed as providing continuity and systematic experience with less probability of stress than full-day programs. Proponents of the half-day approach believe that, given the 5 yearold's attention span, level of interest, and home ties, a half day offers ample time in school and allows more time for the young child to play and interact with adults and other children in less structured home or child care settings (Finkelstein 1983).

What are the Disadvantages of Half-Day Programs?

Disadvantages of half-day programs include midday disruption for children who move from one program to another and, if busing is not provided by the school, difficulty for parents in making transportation arrangements. Even if busing is provided and the child spends the other half-day at home, schools may find providing the extra trip expensive. In addition, the half-day kindergartner may have little opportunity to benefit from activities such as assemblies or field trips.

For questions about this information, contact Sherry Kimball (608) 267-9625