Full-Day Kindergarten

School Administration Information


School districts and charter schools throughout Arizona may offer parents the choice of sending their children to a full day of kindergarten. Many benefits exist for children who attend full-day kindergarten programs, not the least of which is greater school success in later years. Parents and teachers alike also benefit from children’s presence in an all day setting further increasing the positive effects on children’s learning.

Parents of pupils who meet the enrollment requirements (age five by September 1 or age five by January 1 if the governing board deems it is in the best interest of the child) for voluntary kindergarten programs in a school district or charter school that offers Full-Day Kindergarten instruction may choose either half-day kindergarten instruction or full-day kindergarten instruction. Understanding that each child is an individual, the decision to send a child to a half-day or full day of kindergarten should include consideration of all the child’s needs and abilities.

Parents who are interested in Full-Day Kindergarten should contact their local school for information on available programs. Click here for contact information in the Arizona Department of Education School Directory.

To learn more about school funding, expectations of Arizona’s kindergarten programs and the benefits of all day kindergarten, please visit the links below.

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2006-2007 Full-Day Kindergarten Funding

House Bill 2874 signed by Governor Napolitano on June 21, 2006, allotted $118 million to support the implementation of Full-Day Kindergarten.

Details for funding allocation formula to follow pending release of information from School Finance.

2007-2008 Full-Day Kindergarten Funding

Budget Bill 2874 allotted an additional $80 million to support Full-Day Kindergarten funding for program year 2007-2008. The additional funding will change the formula for the FTE.

Details for funding allocation formula to follow pending release of information from School Finance.

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Benefits of Full-Day Kindergarten

Researchers have found many benefits related to children’s attendance in a Full-Day Kindergarten setting. In a summary of research on Full-Day Kindergarten, the Arizona State Department of Education found that although length of day plays a crucial role in the attainment of these benefits, professionals also seem to agree that providing children with instruction that is developmentally and individually appropriate is equally as important. Practitioners find that the positive effects of full-day kindergarten are best seen in settings where students learn through a combination of teacher and child initiated activities, explore topics in depth and are provided the opportunities to work in both small and large groups. Some additional benefits include:

Benefits for students

  • More “time and opportunity to play with language” as well as to explore subjects in depth
  • A more flexible, individualized learning environment
  • More individual and small-group interaction with the teacher than is possible in most half-day classrooms

Benefits for parents

  • Lowered childcare costs possible
  • The opportunity for lower-income families to enroll children in a higher quality early education program that might otherwise be affordable in the private market
  • Less difficulty scheduling childcare and transportation, especially when more than one child is enrolled in the same school
  • Increased opportunities to get involved in their children’s classroom, as well as to communicate with the teacher

Benefits for teachers

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Kindergarten Standards

Standards provide the framework for instruction at all grade levels, including kindergarten. The expectation is that children exiting kindergarten and moving on to first grade will have mastery of a variety of skills and concepts. Follow the link below to review Arizona’s Academic Content Standards for Kindergarten.

Click here to view Kindergarten Standards

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School Information

Implementing a quality FDK program requires planning and funding. Although many schools intend to offer FDK, they will not be able to secure space, materials, and highly qualified teaching staff in the short amount of time between the law passing and the first day of school. It is also important to remember that although schools are being funded, the amount of money they receive for the 2006-2007 school year will not be enough to fully cover the cost of educating a FDK child. Each individual district or charter will make decisions about which schools receive money and how it will be spent.

A school district that establishes a full-day kindergarten program shall allow each parent of a kindergarten pupil to choose either half-day kindergarten instruction or full-day kindergarten instruction per A.R.S. 15-703.B.

To find out more about the kindergarten programs offered by a specific school, contact information is found in the Arizona Department of Education School Directory.

For information, click here.

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Additional Resources

The following articles on Full-Day Kindergarten, including effects, demographics and characteristics are from various educational information websites:

From the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) web site.

The Education Commission of the States has information posted on their website regarding Full-Day Kindergarten, Kindergarten Funding and Kindergarten entry age. Choose “Kindergarten” in the pull down box on the Early Learning Issues page.

For more information on Early Childhood Education, visit:

  • The web site for the National Association for the Education of Young Children – NAEYC Online
  • The Association for Childhood Education International – ACEI
  • National Institute for Early Education Research – NIEER
  • Educational Resources Information Center – ERIC