Reading Experiences in the Kindergarten Classroom
Not every child who attends kindergarten goes to school for a "full day": in 1998–99, 56 percent of children attended a full-day kindergarten program, and 44 percent attended a half-day program. Whether children attended for a full day or a half day varied according to where they lived, their race/ethnicity, and poverty level. In public schools, for example, a higher percentage of children in the South attended full-day programs (83 percent) than children in the Northeast, Midwest, and West (41, 45, and 23 percent, respectively). Urban and rural children were more likely than suburban children to attend full-day programs (59 and 65 percent, respectively, vs. 45 percent). A higher percentage of Black children than White, Hispanic, and Asian children attended full-day programs (79 percent vs. 49, 46, and 40 percent, respectively). Poor children were more likely than nonpoor children to attend full-day programs (62 vs. 51 percent). Fifty-four percent of public school kindergartners and 70 percent of private school kindergartners attended a full-day program, compared with 46 percent and 30 percent of their counterparts who attended half-day programs (Walston and West 2004).