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Full-Day Preschool for 4-year-olds Offers Many Lasting Benefits

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There’s a lot for children to learn with a full-day of preschool. As a matter of fact, extending a preschoolers day would be like adding three to four months of learning to their year. According to a recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) children who attended full-day preschool were more ready for kindergarten than children who attended half-day.

At ESC Region 19 Head Start, 4-year-olds are offered full-day preschool through the ESC Region 19 Head Start and School Districts School Readiness Partnership. The partnership allows for children to attend half-day with Head Start and half-day with an area school district elementary pre kindergarten program.

“We’re partnering with our school districts to give children a full-day of instruction,” said Ramona Huffman, Head Start Comprehensive Services Director. “It’s important that we provide our children with every opportunity to help them become successful students and successful learners.”

Studies indicate kids who attend full-day preschool for at least seven hours a day, score higher on language, math, socio-emotional development, and physical health test. Also, full-day kids had fewer absences than kids attending a three-hour program. Studies also show advantages of increasing full-day publicly funded programs. However, not enough full-day programs are available today.

“We’re fortunate to have established this partnership with our school districts,” said Huffmann. “That’s why it’s important that our parents learn more about our Head Start and School District school readiness partnership. It’s a full-day preschool partnership that offers many lasting benefits for children.”

Next year, more than 1,900 Head Start returning 4-year-olds can participate in full-day preschool. Elementary school campuses throughout nine school districts are offering full-day preschool through the school readiness partnership.

“For me, having my son in full-day preschool allows me to go back to school and work and for my son, it helps him learn more at both schools,” said Mariana Garcia, Head Start parent. “He loves both his teachers and he learns so much throughout his day, he gets very excited about it.”

Head Start centers are updating information for returning children for the upcoming school year. Parents can contact their child’s Head Start center for more information about full-day preschool opportunities.

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