Full day vs. half day

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Updated: 8/11/2003 11:11 pm Published: 8/11/2003 11:11 pm

When choosing a kindergarten, you'll need to consider whether they offer a full day or half-day program. If you feel a full six-hour school day is more than your child is prepared to handle, and you have a flexible schedule, a half-day kindergarten may be an option. Otherwise, full day programs usually offer more advantages. Most private-school kindergartens run the full school day, five days a week. This is convenient for working parents, and gives children a better opportunity to learn. At some public schools, however, budget restrictions have limited kindergarten classes to half-days. In addition, some may run just four days a week. Not only does this compromise the time available for learning, it also poses a dilemma in obtaining childcare for the off-hours. You'll have to find a place where your child can stay either before school, after school, or both. Lately, more schools are offering such care on a fee basis; these programs may be run by the school itself, or by local community organizations. If your child has to attend a half-day program, ask school officials about possible care on the premises. Or, consider organizing such a program, if none exists.

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