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Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

  • 1.  Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

    Posted 05-22-2017 06:42 PM
    Hi,
    I'm wondering if there is information about the benefits of half day (3hour) preschool programs vs <g class="gr_ gr_21 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="21" data-gr-id="21">a full day programs</g>? I've seen several studies that support longer days for children in <g class="gr_ gr_24 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="24" data-gr-id="24">low income</g> situations and I am wondering about children who aren't in poverty. It seems our population feels that "more is better" and I am wondering if there are voices advocating for less. It appears that the need for more hasn't necessarily helped in our kindergarten as many are comparing kindergarten to the new "first grade". Thank you for your thoughts and data.
    Christie Stanford
    Christie Stanford
    Preschool Teacher
     


  • 2.  RE: Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

    Posted 05-23-2017 05:33 AM
    I am also interested in this topic.  Although I am retired , I find this sharing an easy way to keep up with current issues in the field.

    And yes, is there any data on the value of a full day , full week program for preschoolers who are not disadvantaged and who have stay at home parent? When I think of the typical full day schedule for preschoolers, after lunch and rest time there seems to be very little time to schedule any activities that would over time benefit the time away from home and the more flexible time that would allow stay at home parent and child.

    i emphasize that I am describing a home setting in which there is little economic or social stressors that would necessitate a full day, full week, full year program.  Thank you!

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    Anne Dempsey
    West Springfield MA
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  • 3.  RE: Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

    Posted 05-25-2017 09:40 AM
    Hello,

    I recently took a proposal to my school's board in an effort to reduce the children's day from 7 hours and 40 minutes to 5 hours. Personally and professionally, I believe that full day programs are too long. I based my proposal on the following rationale:

    1. Schools largely ignore and give low priority to "life balance" and personal happiness.
    2. High levels of cortisol in preschool children could be telling us to consider a better balance of school time. Children are getting stressed.
    3. Children need PDF for optimal mental health and school engagement. Playtime, Downtime and Family time.
    4. Children need downtime for learning. Downtime is necessary to learn, feed creativity and memory consolidation.
    5. One research study suggests that fatigue could be the cause for behavioral issues. 
    6. One research study states social emotional skills were poorer in full day programs.

    I used some others however, for the sake of being brief, I will stop here.

    If you would like the titles of the educational articles and research I read to educate myself, I would be happy to provide.

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    Aisia Casanova
    ELC Coordinator
    Luanda International School
    Angola, Africa
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  • 4.  RE: Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

    Posted 05-26-2017 10:50 AM
    Hi Aisia,
    Thanks for your reply and I hope the Board was able to approve your proposal. I am very interested in the research you cited in your proposal and would appreciate the links and or article titles.

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    Christie Stanford
    Preschool Teacher
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  • 5.  RE: Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

    Posted 05-23-2017 05:08 PM
    Hi Christie,
    I've often wondered about this myself.  I chose half day K for both of my kids, as I felt they needed a slower adjustment to a formal school setting and I've never regretted it.
    I've also noted in my own work that kids in half day settings often seem more relaxed and have an easier time cooperating with adults and each other.  If anyone has seen any additional research on this I'd be very interested to see it.

    ------------------------------
    [Meg] [Thomas]
    [Early childhood program manager]
    [AMAZE]
    [St Paul ] [MN]
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

    Posted 05-24-2017 06:30 AM
    Half vs full day for kindergarten is becoming relatively rare, I'd say, especiallly in public school settings where it's part of the regular schedule of an elementary program.  Without the need for full blown nap times, and with creative planning, a full day classroom in kindergarten can use the afternoon block for some great things.  Ageeed, however, that the half day K can be great for introducing kids in an easy transition.

    when I first read this thread, my immediate thoughts went to the PRESCHOOL setting where stay at home parents in stable economic and social situations enroll their children in a program's full day option vs the "meaty" morning, then having them home ... with the extra flexibility that could entail.  This in no way levels a judgement against full day programs, but for young preschoolers, the licensing requirements for nap time require a relatively big block of much needed "down time" in early afternoon. What are the gains, if any, for typically developing preschooler to spend an entire day in preschool - 5'days a week, even year round -  if the parent is not working? This does happen and I've been asked by parents if this is a good option for stay at home families.  I'm not sure it is?? I'm interested in opinions! Thanks!



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    Anne Dempsey
    West Springfield MA
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  • 7.  RE: Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

    Posted 05-24-2017 07:52 AM
    I actually taught a half day preschool program in the public school setting for 15 years.  In the past 5 years due to funding we were pushed into the full day world.  I have to say that I was skeptical in the beginning but have been amazed at the benefits.  Licensing only requires a 20 minute rest time, which allows for many instructional opportunities that I did not have previously.  Most of my students were leaving a half day program and going to a different form of child care.  By offering full day programing we have eliminated a transition for students in the middle of the day and offered them a high level instruction for a full day.

    Barb

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    Barbara Holmes
    Building Bridges Preschool
    Howard City MI
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  • 8.  RE: Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

    Posted 05-24-2017 08:07 AM
    This is encouraging! And certainly a great solution for working families.  Is 20 minutes enough time for preschoolers who might still nap  for 2 hours?
    Do you find that stay at home parents prefer the longer school day?

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    Anne Dempsey
    West Springfield MA
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  • 9.  RE: Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

    Posted 05-24-2017 08:09 AM
    And I forgot to add that your particular schedule now is far, far more child friendly than children leaving one program to enter another, every day!!! I had that set up for one of my students and it was hard on everyone.

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    Anne Dempsey
    West Springfield MA
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  • 10.  RE: Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

    Posted 05-28-2017 06:42 AM
    Dear Christie,

    Thank you for well wishes.

    As requested, below you will find a list of literature that I compiled during my study and used to support my proposal to the Board:

    Science Daily…"Elevated stress levels amor Norway's youngest children in childcare"…High levels of cortisol found in young children could be telling us to consider a better balance of school time. Children are getting stressed.

    "The dark side of preschool"…Preschools raise reading and math scores but have a negative effect on social behavior. As the day increased so did the behavioral problems. There is stress in preschools. Recommendations made: Avoid long hours and look for quality programs.

    Mind/Shift How We Learn…"What Kids Need for Optimal Health and School Engagement"…Children need PDF for optimal mental health and school and engagement. Playtime, Downtime, Family time.

    "life balance, happiness and life change"…Schools largely ignore and give low priority to "life balance" and personal happiness.

    "Effects of a Full-Day Preschool Program on 4-Year-Old Children"…Fatigue in full-time programs could be the cause for behavioral issues. Better readers and math skills but poorer social emotional skills.

    "Child Development: The Value of Doing Nothing"…Children need "downtime" for learning. Napping is the most important form of downtime. Downtime is needed to learn, feed creativity and memory consolidation.

    BBC… "Afternoon naps aid children's learning"…"Getting young children to take an hour-long nap after lunch could help the with their learning by boosting brain power…"

    "Where Did the Joy of Learning Go?"…Brain research reveals "information processing" is hindered in stressful environments.

    The Atlantic…"The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids, Today's young children are working more, but learning less."…Preschool quality really does matter.

    The Guardian…"Teachers say long days make 'ghosts' of children dropped at school gates"…Education professionals say a day over 5 hours is too long.

    Curriculum…Teaching Young Children…"Educators Seek 'Developmental Appropriateness'…"Teachers must also consider all aspects of the child, experts advise. Developmentally appropriate practices "challenge individual children to learn and reach their potential in all areas of development,"… "Teachers must attend not only to the cognitive domain but to children's  social, emotional, and physical needs as well. Typically in schools, we pay too much attention to the cognitive,"… "We should not ignore the complexities of children." (page 2, 1st paragraph)

    The Guardian… "The Great Nursery Debate"… "There is now overwhelming evidence that daycare causes children to have abnormal cortisol levels, probably increasing the risk of behavioral problems like aggression, fearfulness an hyperactivity."

    Psychology Today…"Early Maternal Love and Support Boosts Child's Brain Growth"… "Luby believes the findings suggest that nurturing has the power to help children do better in school, cope better in life, and develop emotionally. Therefore, it's really important for health providers to help mothers of all ages and walks of life learn how to provide more support and nurturing early in the lives of their children."



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    Aisia Casanova
    Early Learning Centre Coordinator
    Luanda International School
    Luanda, Angola
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  • 11.  RE: Full day vs half day preschool and preK?

    Posted 05-24-2017 11:05 AM
    This doesn't seem like an either/or kind of question. You have to start with the understanding that families who work need a place for their child to be during their working and commuting hours. Regardless of what the research says about the value of 3 hours, 6 hours or 10 hours of "preschool", those children have to be somewhere so we should focus on making that time the best it can be. If part day programs can only be used by families who have a stay at home parent or guardian, then that family circumstance would be a strong influence on any findings about the effects of different times. There is huge variation across programs in how they spend those hours. In a faithfully implemented developmentally appropriate, child centered program, can there be too much?

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    Karen Nemeth
    Language Castle LLC
    Newtown PA
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