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Old 04-02-2013, 11:53 AM   #11
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Re: Full Day or Half Day PreK?

I'm really wondering when schools started leaning towards full day kindergarten. My DD will be 5 in May and starts in the fall. She's never been in daycare or preschool. (She is in gymnastics and dance and gets plenty of socialization that way.) When I started looking at school options for the fall I was shocked I couldn't find the 1/2 day kindergarten. Public school is full day. There is a private school in the neighborhood who advertises half day, but they are a national chain and locally they only do full day because they had no demand for half. The same for their kindergarten prep session for the summer I thought of sending her to, but they are also only doing full day, even though they advertise half days.

We have become such a two parent working society that most parents, it seems, wants to use their schools as free daycare. Both the private school I mentioned and one of the charters we looked at have after school programs that will keep kids until 6PM and they can be dropped off as early as 7 AM. Starting in kindergarten. Really? There is enough demand for this? I'm trying to get over the idea of her being away from me long enough to have a regular school day.

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Old 04-02-2013, 12:06 PM   #12
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Re: Full Day or Half Day PreK?

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We have become such a two parent working society that most parents, it seems, wants to use their schools as free daycare. Both the private school I mentioned and one of the charters we looked at have after school programs that will keep kids until 6PM and they can be dropped off as early as 7 AM. Starting in kindergarten. Really? There is enough demand for this? I'm trying to get over the idea of her being away from me long enough to have a regular school day.
I'm not looking for free daycare, but it is a royal PITA that my area only does half-day PreK. We both WOH FT & DD is currently in FT DC, in the PreK classroom. It's nice & we have no complaints about the DC, but I would like DD to get familiar with the school, the increased structure, etc., and I can't, b/c I'd still have to hire PT DC and someone to transport...b/c the district transports K-12, but not PreK. It's just not feasible logistically, so we don't get to make use of UPK.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:27 PM   #13
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Re: Full Day or Half Day PreK?

We are a two parent working household and I guess if you want to call full day PreK our daycare, you can call it that. Kindergarten will be daycare for us and so will first grade, etc. We chose PreK because our DD was BORED at daycare. Bored to tears. Full day preK has been a great choice for her. PreK is not funded in my state, so it's definitely not free. It's a lot of play with learning, music, craft projects, bible lessons, lunch, snacks, rest, and all sorts of other things. It's daycare for us, but so much more for her. She loves it!
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:33 PM   #14
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Re: Full Day or Half Day PreK?

I'm sorry if I offended anyone by calling it "free daycare" I was just surprised to find out that the schools around here don't offer the half day anymore and the impression I got from talking to people at various schools is that parents are looking to drop their kids off around 7 AM and the after school programs will keep them until 6. Seems like a long day for a little one!
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:49 PM   #15
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Re: Full Day or Half Day PreK?

I thought half-day was a recent thing to help with budgets.

My siblings and I all went to kindergarten in different states (mid to late 80s) and we all had full day kindergarten.

I've only seen full-day pre-k (through the school district) in low income areas.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:00 PM   #16
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Re: Full Day or Half Day PreK?

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I thought half-day was a recent thing to help with budgets.

My siblings and I all went to kindergarten in different states (mid to late 80s) and we all had full day kindergarten.

I've only seen full-day pre-k (through the school district) in low income areas.
I'm 40 and I had half day kindergarten. It was the norm (at least where I lived) when I was growing up. I have no idea when that changed.

And here preK is in all areas but you only qualify for it for free if you are low income or your family is military. You can elect to pay to send them if you don't qualify for the free program (which we don't). We live in an upper middle class area but there is huge low budget apartment complex in the district so the local public school has a big preK program because all those kids qualify for it for free.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:02 PM   #17
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Re: Full Day or Half Day PreK?

The last school district I worked in was half day prek and half day kinder... it was a relatively higher income town... the city I live in has lots of lower income people, so maybe that has something to do with why they are doing full day preK at pretty much every school? Although the particular school I was looking at is very high income neighborhood. IDK
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:04 PM   #18
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My sister teaches 4K (half day) and it is a lot of play based learning. It was initially started in her district as a way to bring in lower performing kids and get them ready for kindergarten (now it's for anyone). She actually preferred teaching it then b/c they were kind of at the same level and learned so much.

I went to visit her classroom a few Octobers ago and they cut out a fire engine, glued on wheels, ladder, etc, did circle time with singing and moving around, open play, a little outside time, snack, storytime, and maybe one other project (letter of the week??) and that was it. More preschool-like than rigorous school atmosphere. Depends in the teacher/district though, I'm sure.

We have all day kindy here, maybe all of WI (not sure).
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:04 PM   #19
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The program my kids attend is full day 9-3 starting at 18 months. We do 2 days a week for the first 2 years and 3 the third year. They love it!

I would start out with a half day if you kiddo has never been to school before, but full day if kiddo has done preschool to help ease the transition. Kindy is full day here.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:06 PM   #20
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Re: Full Day or Half Day PreK?

We have half day prek and full day k. I am homeschooling next year because it is too academic for me in K. I am an early childhood teacher and think it is way too long a day, they need more play and social time.
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