Health Equity: Full Day Kindergarten Programs
Description of Resource:
The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends full-day kindergarten programs to improve the health prospects of low-income and racial and ethnic minority children, based on evidence that full-day programs substantially improve reading and mathematics achievement—determinants of long-term academic and health-related outcomes (e.g., reduced teen pregnancy and risk behaviors)—when compared with half-day kindergarten or full-day kindergarten on alternating days. Full-day kindergarten is a formal program offered for children aged 4 to 6 years in a school or school-like setting during the school year prior to entering first grade. The goals are to prepare children academically, socially, and emotionally for effective participation in the educational system. Children in low-income families often experience delays in language and other development by the age of 3. Compensating for these delays before children begin regular schooling can be critical to providing them with equal opportunities for lifelong employment, income, and healthy behavior.