A recent study has found full day kindergarten linked to better health and achievement, and may be a gateway to a brighter academic future for young students.
A team from the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Community Health Sciences surveyed parents and community members, and compared data from tests taken by kindergarten students from 2010 through 2014. There was broad community support for full day kindergarten, and they found that students in full day programs scored better on tests than the children in half day kindergarten.
The study was released last May, after state lawmakers had already approved $2.2 billion in education funding. $36.5 million will be dedicated for expanding access to full day kindergarten.
The Health Impact Project funded the study. The project is a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. In addition, team partners included the Southern Nevada Health District.
“The health impact assessment is basically a tool to help those who make policies, regardless of whatever sector it might be — in our case it was education — to sort of, hopefully, realize the impact that these non-health decisions can have on health,” said UNLV assistant professor Courtney Coghenour, who was a research team member.