TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - According to teachers, the change from half day to full day kindergarten made a difference.
It was a heavily debated topic in 2011 amongst parents, having to pay for full day kindergarten.
As of 2012-2013 school years, every Indiana kindergartner is allowed to attend full day for no charge.
Sarah Kelty, a first grade teacher at Fuqua Elementary says it's a noticeable difference between children who went half day versus full day.
"As a first grade teacher I've seen that the children are much more prepared, they come to me with a basic reading vocabulary. They're much more comfortable decoding words. Their math skills are stronger so the full day experience really prepares them academically," said Kelty.
Mrs. Kelty says the change not only benefits students academically but socially.
"I think their listening skills are more developed, they're ability to focus, to pay attention. You know developmentally their first graders," said Kelty.
Free full day kindergarten not only gives every child an equal opportunity but it also helps the working parent.
"I think it was very difficult for people in the middle of the day to find a grandparent or a daycare provider that would provide that transportation or watch somebody part-time. So when they're in school I think parents feel more comfortable that they're safe and sound. They know they're taken care of," said Kelty.
Kelty said it was a much needed change that will give every Indiana child the tools they need to succeed in the first grade.
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