Do you think full-day Kindergarten is expensive babysitting or a good investment in our young children?

My son begins full-day kindergarten here in Canada this September. Some people think that full-day kindergarten is hogwash and just another form of babysitting.

What do you think? Is it a good investment in your opinion?

I feel very blessed that my son will be in full-day kindergarten this year. It’s a great opportunity for him to learn while his mind is still a huge sponge.

You answered your own question. You think it’s a blessing.

My school district switched from half day to full day a number of years ago.

I prefer half day, personally, but that’s my personal preference.

Our children did well with full day kindergarten. But like any education program its only worth what the parents and teachers are willing to put into it. Lazy parents or lazy teachers will nolify any benefits that are possible.

I’m not a parent, but my sister has had both her kids in full-day kindergarten–her son is there now. She also lives in my area. She has to pay a few thousand dollars for it, but she thought it was well worth it. I don’t know about Canada, but here in the US kindergarten is very academic, more than it used to be. Her kids have been in full time day care since they were 11 weeks old so they were used to the long days.

Full day is the only option at our parish school (8:00 AM-2:30 PM) I was concerned at first, but the kids do fine every year. And we definitely don’t feel it’s babysitting. Those kids learn so much in Kindergarten. It’s not Playdoh and teddy bears any more! Our school has a challenging curriculum, and the Kinder teacher is AMAZING. She is utilizing every moment she has with the students.

I thought it was a very good investment for my daughter. She attended kindergarten at our parish school. I don’t know what school is like in Canada, but her kindergarten experience was what I would have experienced in first grade here in the US when I was her age. It wasn’t “babysitting” at all. That’s not to say though its a MUST and every family should have their child attend full day kindergarten. I’m sure there are children that do just as well in school having only half day kindergarten or skipping it all together. But we were very pleased with my daughter’s kindergarten year, far more than we were with her first grade experience.

Thanks guys. I agree with all of you.

I was asking b/c my boss told me that full-day kindergarten is a waste of tax dollars and it has no value and is just expensive babysitting.

I have to admit, my boss offended me in saying that. I thought it was kinda arrogant if you ask me.

Kindergarten is the same here in Canada where it’s more like grade 1 now. My daughter is bringing home books and is expected to read them and write in a journal every night. However, she is still in the part-time kindergarten program. My kids’ school begins full-day kindergarten this September coming.

I have to admit, I will be saving a lot of money not having to pay for daycare anymore. My kids will be enrolled in an after-school program which is much cheaper.

I think it’s a good investment. The children LEARN. Not babysat.

They could be right, that kindergarten is a glorified form of baby-sitting.

A professor of philosophy once expressed to me that young children shouldn’t leave the home. Maybe at 9 or 10, they could go to school. That’s his opinion, but he’s thinking that the parents should be the sole educators of the children in the most formative years of their life.

Mind you, I am not advocating one or the other. I am saying that parents could be right in saying that kindergarten school is a day-care center and that alternatively, if you feel they would benefit more from another avenue of schooling, homeschooling is one way to do it. The professor I mentioned is a parent, and He certainly loves wisdom, so I put out his opinion for your consideration there - if it would help your evaluation of his opinion, he’s holy and very Christ-like.

Our Kindergarten class is really challenging… certainly not glorified babysitting!

So much so, that I plan on holding back my daughter with a July birthday (5yo cut-off in FL is September 1, so she’ll be 6 by the time she starts Kindergarten).

Well, it’s not babysitting – they are learning useful things. But I personally have concerns about the tendency in the US (and apparently in Canada as well?) to push academics to ever-younger ages. Kindergarten can be a lot of pressure nowadays!

A professor of philosophy once expressed to me that young children shouldn’t leave the home. Maybe at 9 or 10, they could go to school. That’s his opinion, but he’s thinking that the parents should be the sole educators of the children in the most formative years of their life.

In my little corner of the world, that would either greatly overestimate my own abilities as an educator, or seriously underestimate the skill and professionalism of our local teachers! :slight_smile:

Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be. When we enrolled our oldest in 4K (and now there is 3K - when will it end?) I thought it was a little silly. But after witnessing the curriculum, and its impact on her, I was eager to enroll our son too. Most of the kids were reading by the end of 4K, writing too. It made a huge difference for her in school, to have that strong academic foundation.

And while years ago I might’ve said no 4 year old needs a “strong academic foundation”, that clearly we’re pushing our kids too hard, taking the joy out of their childhoods etc… I can see how some environments with a strong academic bent might not be positive, but academics doesn’t have to be punitive and lacking joy. Kids can be kids, and still learn - their minds develop so much faster than we give them credit for. Absolutely, full day K5 is a blessing!

I really think it depends on the quality of the program.
For some school systems, it really is a great educational boost. For others, it turns out like baby-sitting.

My lovely wife and I will be sending our 2+ year old to a twice a week half day program next fall and switching him tour our parish school the following year. We are doing this as he is currently babysat by my MIL and has little interaction with other children and we would like him to be “socialized” prior to sending him to our parish school.

I am a first grade teacher. In our district we have a half day program but many parents choose to send their child to full day programs at private schools due to child care. My students who are in the half day program are far more prepared for first grade than the students I get from the full day programs. It all depends on the school and their philosophy (NOT lazy teachers, in almost all cases). Our district has not switched to a full day program because studies show there are no additional academic benefits from having the children go all day.

In my opinion, kindergarteners should only go for half a day. They are too young to be able to focus and learn for the entire day and they are too tired to go the entire day. Learning is developmental–we can’t force kindergarten children to read, write, or do certain math before their brains are ready…it’s not about cramming more into a day; it’s about using the hours you have wisely.

Any way you put it, it’s not glorified day care. The kids are learning all day–what is best for their developmental needs is a different matter but that’s just my two cents. :wink:

This is my feeling. I’m not sure we are teaching our children the correct things.

My grand babes in Canada go to Junior Kindergarden and Senior Kindergarden. Not an option for attendance. My daughter is a stay at home mom. They have all very much enjoyed it. It’s fench immersion, so they only speak french for the first few years. Certainly not a waste. They speak french better than me at the end of JK and I had 12 years of french (so called) education.

My daughter went to full day kindergarten and loved it. It was a Montessori school; she learned to read and is still reading 30 years later!

I work all day, so admittedly if my son had not gone to all day kindergarten, he would have gone to daycare. That said, he got FAR more out of kindergarten than daycare. He was ready for the added challenges of school and had a great time there. He liked his daycare too, but K was better, in his eyes.

An interesting and recent study showed that once the children get to grade five there is no academic difference between the kids who went to kindergarten and those who didn’t. This would seem to indicate that while it may be convenient for parents that ultimately it is largely a waste of time and money from an education standpoint.

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