Full-Day Kindergarten Study Evaluation


A study of full-day kindergarten (FDK) was conducted in partnership with Queen's and McMaster universities from 2010-2012.

The purpose of this research was to measure the impact of FDK, and to help identify effective practices to improve the delivery of the program moving forward.

Quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods such as data collection, case studies, phone interviews, online surveys, classroom observation and focus groups were used in schools across the province over the two-year period.

The current quantitative results focus on data from 690 children – 52 per cent girls, 48 per cent boys – from 125 participating schools:

  • 257 children were enrolled in FDK for two years (junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten)
  • 223 children who were enrolled in one year of FDK (non-FDK in junior kindergarten; FDK in senior kindergarten)
  • 210 children who had no exposure to FDK.

The Early Development Instrument (EDI), which is a UNESCO-reviewed measurement of early childhood development, was used to measure child  development in the following five areas:

  • Physical health and well-being
  • Social competence
  • Emotional maturity
  • Language and cognition
  • Communication skills and general knowledge.

Key findings from the analysis include:

  • Overall, students in FDK are better prepared to enter Grade 1 and to be more successful in school.
  • In every area, students improved their readiness for Grade 1 and accelerated their development.
  • Comparisons of children with two years of FDK instruction and children with no FDK instruction showed that FDK:
    • Reduced risks in social competence development from 10.5 per cent to 5.8 per cent.
    • Reduced risks in language and cognitive development from 15.8 per cent to 4.3 per cent.
    • Reduced risks in communication skills and general knowledge development from 10.5 per cent to 5.8 per cent.

A Meta-Perspective on the Evaluation of Full-day Kindergarten during the First Two Years of Implementation.

An integrative, evaluation report that was informed by: The Social Program Evaluation Group – Queen's University Final Report: Evaluation of the Implementation of the Ontario Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program, Fall 2012 and the Offord Centre for Child Studies – McMaster University The Full Day Kindergarten Early Learning Program Final Report, October 2012; and the Ministry of Education, Government of Ontario.

This report is available in PDF format (480 KB)