The theories of Friedrich Froebel, the founder of kindergarten have influenced kindergartens in several regions including in Finland and Ontario, Canada. The kindergarten program in Finland is one of envy as it contributes the nation’s successful educational system. Kindergarten in Finland is a free service available to all children, which is similar to Ontario, Canada’s program which is also free to children in the province.
The following paper will explore kindergarten in Finland and Ontario and illustrate that in spite of their differing systems, the principal focus of kindergarten in each region is to prepare students for formal schooling. The programs, curriculum, teacher qualifications and roles in each area collectively support school readiness. The educational systems in both Finland and Ontario are designed in such a way that each stage of education merges into the other, with kindergarten being the initial stage.
Attending school is a common routine throughout the world, with the purpose of schooling being fairly similar. As a result of societal differences, conceptions of the purpose of schooling are relative to the regions in which the schooling takes place, thus a clear global consensus for the purpose of schooling has yet to be established. In spite of a lacking global understanding, the purposes of schooling throughout the world are comparable and typically encompass providing children with educational experiences that foster academic and social development.
An additional common purpose is to help students achieve academic mastery; however children require experiences that will develop abilities and skills that are necessary to achieve academic mastery. These experiences typically occur through kindergarten education. Without providing children with kindergarten experiences, they may be unfamiliar with the formal schooling environment and what it entails, thus limiting school readiness. Similarly, the conceptions of the purpose of kindergarten are also quite common throughout the world and often include a combination of play and educational programs.
It is perceived that kindergarten experiences are fundamental for the transition to formal schooling (Graue, 2009, p. 28). Friedrich Froebel, the pioneer of kindergarten believed that “there should be a closer harmony between kindergarten and the first two primary grades” (Heydon & Wang, 2006, p. 36). Froebel’s beliefs are evident in kindergartens around the world, as many programs support a continuum between kindergarten and the commencement of formal schooling. Kindergarten, also known as early childhood education in some parts of the world, continuously receives a lot of global attention.
Recently Canada has been in the media for kindergarten reform. The nation’s province of Ontario has looked to Nordic countries, such as Finland to draw on it’s kindergarten model because of its success in Finnish society. In addition to their kindergarten system, the Finnish formal education system has been coveted around the world. For the last few years Finland’s primary education system has been the envy of the Western world as the country’s 15-year-olds have been leading the world on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) program for international student assessments (PISA) (Jimenez, 2009).
The Finnish educational system ranks first among forty of the worlds most industrialized nations (Hakkarainen, 2008, p. 267). The consensus is that the educational success enjoyed by Finland “is attributed to their free high quality early childhood education programs” (Mead, 2008). As a result of this correlation, and globalization, industrialized nations may begin to restructure their kindergarten program to compare with Finland’s in hopes that children in their regions perform well on international assessments.
Industrialized nations may potentially subscribe to the same beliefs held by Finnish society and use them to inform their kindergarten practices. The Finnish society believes “that intervention at the kindergarten stage is the best way to give children a good beginning in life” (Jensen, 2009, p. 11). Ontario’s kindergarten system upholds the same belief and the reform that will be implemented in September 2010 will further solidify this conviction. Ontario’s new program will include aspects that are comparable to Finland’s.
Kindergarten programs in Finland and Ontario are organized differently; in spite of the fact that they are derived from Friedrich Froebel’s kindergarten beliefs and theories. The purpose of kindergarten in each region is to prepare children for formal schooling by maintaining continuity between kindergarten and formal school programs. The continuity of the both programs creates smooth transitions for children into the formal schooling stage. This is achieved by providing children with education experiences that bridge the move from one program to another.
Although, the structure of kindergarten is unique to each region, the purpose in Finland and Ontario is the same. This paper will exemplify that the purpose of kindergarten in Finland and Ontario is consistent with one another, by examining kindergarten programs, curriculum, teacher qualifications and roles in each area. Kindergarten in Finland The history of Finnish kindergartens can be traced back to the late 19th century where Friedrich Froebel’s kindergarten pedagogy and beliefs were applied by Finnish educator Uno Cygnaeus and Hanna Rothman (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2000, p.
19). In 1888, Hanna Rothman who had been trained in Germany “founded the first kindergarten in Finland” and since then kindergartens in Finland have “adhered to high standards in child upbringing and educational methods” (Pohjanpalo & Semi, 1998, p. 2). Over time kindergartens have evolved in Finland and have become revered globally because children are legally entitled to kindergarten education and daycare, which are either subsidized or free (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2000, p.
5). In addition, the importance of kindergarten to Finnish society is demonstrated through the amount of money invested in kindergarten education. Finland reportedly invests more money in kindergarten education than any other country in the world (Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, 2008, p. 7). Kindergartens have grown to include components of education and day care as a result of the increasing number of working mothers (Honkavaara, 1998, p. 8).
Currently, kindergarten is part of the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) system and is known as the “educational activity among children under school age which is 7 years of age” which differs from Ontario where children under the school age of 6 (Husa & Kinos, 2005, p. 133). The ECEC system has given Finnish society control over working-class children, thus providing equal opportunities for all children regardless of socio-economic levels (Hujula-Huttunen & Jarvi, 1996, p. 103). For families, kindergarten is a fundamental pillar of day care as kindergarten programs address the needs Finnish families where both
parents typically work. In effect, Finland provides support for parents through kindergartens and also takes their financial needs into account, as programs are both subsidized and free. Kindergarten education is part of the Finnish social and family policy and although the purpose is to prepare children for school, an additional purpose is to provide social services to parents as stipulated in the Act on Children’s Day Care (Hujula-Huttunen & Jarvi, 1996, p. 104). Although the purpose of kindergarten in Finland is consistent with Ontario’s, the structure of each program varies (Pohjanpalo & Semi, 1998, p.
4). Kindergarten in Finland has two stages that are also part of the social welfare system and associated with both the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the National Board of Education (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2004, p. 5). The first stage is for children 3-6 years old, which is essentially a play- based kindergarten which follows the National Curriculum Guidelines on Early Childhood Education and Care and will be referred to as “day care” throughout the paper (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2004, p. 9).
Day care programs are subsidized and fees are based on family income and size (Hujula-Huttunen & Jarvi, 1996, p. 105). The second stage of kindergarten is for children 6-7 years of age and is free to all Finnish children and has been established to prepare children for their first year of formal school (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2000, p. 58 ). This stage will be referred to as “pre-school” and will be the stage of focus throughout the paper as it is most comparable to the kindergarten program in Ontario.
Both stages are part of the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) system and may also be described through the concept of EduCare, where care, education and instruction have been combined to form an integrated whole (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2000, p. 6). Although the latter stage, pre-school, will be the focus of the paper, it is important to note the relationship between the day care stage and pre-school stage. The relationship between day care and pre-school is extremely significant as they form an integrated whole, progressing consistently in terms of child development and readiness for formal schooling.
Day care contributes to the efficacy of the purpose of kindergarten, by also preparing children for pre-school which ultimately contributes to school readiness as well. An important goal of Finnish day care programs is to provide basic education that ensures consistency and continuity into the pre-school program for children 6-7 years old (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2004, p. 3). Day cares follow the National Curriculum Guidelines for Early Childhood Education and Care in Finland which is aligned with the pre-school curriculum for 6 to 7 year olds, the National Core Curriculum for Preschool Education in Finland.
The pre-school curriculum is in turn aligned with the curriculum for compulsory comprehensive school, the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (Mead, 2008). Each program is a bridge to the other. In addition, an important goal of “pre-school education is to formulate a flexible and uniform continuum between daycare and the comprehensive school…and the goal of this procedure is to make the transition to school easier for children” (Niikko & Havu-Nuutinen, 2009, p. 432).
Further examination of the pre-school program and curriculum in Finland will continue to exhibit that the purpose of kindergarten in Finland is to prepare children for formal schooling. (Kindergarten) Pre-School Programs and Curriculum in Finland Traditionally, pre-school education in Finland was integrated into the day care system. Provision of pre-school specifically for 6 year olds has existed since the late 1960’s and in the year 2000, as part of a program and curriculum reform, pre-school became free to all Finnish children 6 to 7 years of age (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2000, p.
58). As part of Finland’s ECEC programs, pre- school “is the systematic education and instruction provided in the year preceding the commencement of compulsory education, which usually commences in August of the calendar year of a child’s 7th birthday” (Valkeoski, 2010). It is a one year intensive preparation for the transition to grade one, which is comparable to Ontario’s kindergarten program for 4 and 5 year olds (Ojala, n. d. ).
Although their current program is successful, children begin school later than other industrialized countries and as a result of globalization, Finland may choose to lower the age to 6, like Canada and other western nations. Pre-school in Finland is the responsibility of the local government, known as municipalities (Moriarty, 2000, p. 236). As part of the ECEC, pre-schools in Finland endeavour to “smooth out individual differences in children’s readiness to start school” (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2000, p. 59).
Although pre-school is optional, it is a widely used service, as it meets the needs of working families. In 2007, 97% of Finnish children were enrolled in pre-school (Finnish National Board of Education, 2009, para. 1). Currently, pre- school is provided in every municipality for 700 hours annually during the academic year (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2004, p. 12). It takes place for approximately four hours a day and once it has finished children have the right to day care as a complement to the pre-school program, making kindergarten a full-day experience (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2000, p.
) In the Act on Children’s Day Care (36/1973) it states that ECEC has two functions, “to provide both educational and social services” (Karila, Kinos, Niiranen, & Virtanen, 2005, p. 135). Pre-school does provide both; however the focus is to “bridge to elementary schools and [creates] readiness for learning by motivating children to ask, observe and experiment” (Pohjanpalo & Semi, 1988, pg. 10). The purpose of kindergarten is aligned with structural-functionalist thought as pre-school is connected to the entire system of schooling in Finland, creating an integrated entity.
Education at both the pre-school and compulsory levels are interrelated and part of a whole. Pre-school prepares children to move smoothly into their initial compulsory schooling experience. The association between the levels of education demonstrates that Finland’s educational system is linear. School readiness is established in pre-school and the lack of pre-school exposure may make for a difficult transition to grade one. Pre-school programs are available in a variety of settings such as day care centers where day care education is also held or in classes in comprehensive schools.
Although, there is a relationship with the day care system, the administration of pre-school is independent from day care and comprehensive schools. Pre-schools are “permitted to be organized by either educational or social authorities” (Niikko & Havu-Nuutinen, 2009, p. 431). The support provided in all settings is plentiful and demonstrates the importance of ensuring that the needs of all children are addressed. The ratio of pre-school personnel to children is contingent upon where the pre-school is provided.
When operated in day care centres and in comprehensive schools the ratio is one to thirteen (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2004, p. 6). The recommended that the maximum group size be 20 children and once it exceeds 13 children, an additional qualified person is required (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2004, p. 6). Along with free education the pre-school program entitles children to free services such as meals, health care and travel if the location exceeds five km (Finnish National Board of Education, 2009, para. 2).
A variety of services are granted to pre-school children, however the experiences in this program are designed to prepare children for formal schooling. According to the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, the quality of Finland’s kindergarten program is reflected in curricular focus (2008, p. 9). The curriculum called the Core Curriculum for Pre-School Education “[emphasizes] the need for preparation for school” (Moriarty, 2000, p. 236). The current curriculum was part of a reform and established in the year 2000 (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2004, p.
5). It was developed so that, pre-school education aims to link the programs of daycare and the comprehensive school and, in so doing, promote the quality of teaching and education at the beginning of the comprehensive school. The curriculum focuses on supporting the development of the children’s personality, while fostering children’s learning abilities and their individuality (Niikko & Havu-Nuutinen, 2009, p. 431). The curriculum guidelines clearly convey that school readiness is an important goal of pre-school.
Moreover, the curriculum indicates that play also benefits the development of imagination, empathy, and language and that developing physical and social skills is important. The program is one that provides care and education to aid in the socialization of children (Hakkarainen, 2008, p. 292). In terms of content the “main content areas of the Finnish National Core Curriculum for Pre-School Education are the Finnish language, mathematics, ethics, science education, health education, arts, and culture” (Niikko & Havu-Nuutinen, 2009, p. 432).
The pre-school curriculum is aligned with the curriculum for basic education used in comprehensive school and it’s “contents are quite analogous with those of the comprehensive school” (Niikko & Havu-Nuutinen, 2009, p. 432). To facilitate continuity from pre-school to compulsory schooling, qualified kindergarten teachers that collaborate with comprehensive school teachers, implement the pre-school program. The Qualifications and the Roles of (Kindergarten) Pre-School Teachers in Finland Since the beginning of Finland’s pre-school activity in the 19th century, qualified teachers have continued to play a
significant role in the organization of pre-school programs. These qualified pre-school teachers are responsible for starting the kindergarten movement. Currently pre-school teachers receive quality training to facilitate growth in children and to prepare them for their subsequent years of education (Pohjanpalo & Semi, 1988, p. 10). According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, “a well-educated staff and multi-disciplinary staff are one of the strengths of the Finnish system” (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2004, p. 3).
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association also asserts that the quality of the kindergarten (pre-school) program in Finland is reflected in teacher qualifications (2008, p. 9). Historically, training was organized in pre-school teacher colleges, specialized institutions of higher vocational education, where pre-school teachers were isolated from comprehensive school teachers (“Pre-School and Primary,” 1996, p. 14). Later in 1995, teacher training became widely available in regular universities and became an institutionalized academic training that rendered a degree of Candidate of Education (Husa & Kinos, 2005, p.140).
Both the changes in the required qualifications for pre-school teachers and the transfer of training to university settings promoted dialogue and relationships between pre-school teachers and compulsory school teachers (Hujula-Huttunen & Jarvi, 1996, p. 112). Currently, pre-school teachers “complete a three year university program in early childhood education to qualify and teachers in the profession have to participate in in-service training at least once every five years” (Hujula Huttnen & Jarvi, 1996, p. 105). This program entitles pre-school teachers to solely work in pre-schools operated out of day cares.
As a result, many pre-school teachers commonly earn a Masters degrees to be qualified to teach in comprehensive school settings as well (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2004, p. 6). By working in comprehensive schools pre-school teachers then develop an understanding of the curriculum and programs employed. Knowledge of the comprehensive school program assists pre-school teachers with designing pre-school lessons and activities that seamlessly stream into the basic school program (Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, 2008, p.9).
Their understanding of programs delivered in subsequent school years coupled with cooperative relationships with comprehensive schools teachers, contribute to the establishment of a continuum of learning as “co-operation between pre-school and primary school teachers is regarded as being significant” (Niikko & Havu-Nuutinen, 2009, p. 434). Pre-school teachers also have support in the classroom from qualified personnel that are “trained workers and have at least two years vocational training” (Honkavaara, 1998, p. 7).
In addition, special education teachers are also a feature in preschool teaching, “most of which are qualified special needs kindergarten teachers who have also completed a special education study programme” ( Kirjapaino, 2008, p. 4). By having qualified personnel and pre-school teachers that have pedagogical understanding of pre-school and comprehensive school programs and curriculum, the former becomes more influenced by the latter; therefore preparing pre-school children for formal schooling. Teacher’s roles also influence a smooth transition to grade one.
The roles of kindergarten teachers are multifaceted as they provide instruction, care and partnerships with comprehensive teachers that help build parallel conceptions of pedagogy. In effect, they are able to bridge kindergarten experiences to compulsory school experiences. In Finland, the role of pre-school teachers goes beyond teaching curriculum. It is a combination of “teacher and professional caregiver who provides both emotional and physical care giving” (Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, 2008, p. 10).
According to Horpuu and Ikonen-Varilla (as cited in Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, 2008, p.10) teachers have pedagogical knowledge about teaching and learning; however, they are also trained to provide care giving. They work collaboratively with parents “to help them support bringing up children and to promote together with the family the well-balanced development of the child’s personality” (Pre-School and Primary,” 1996, p. 27). Support and co-operation with parents in their educational role, as well as with other experts, has been seen to be one meaningful goal of pre-school education (Niikko & Havu-Nuutinen, 2009, p. 432).
According to the Finnish Board of Education and the Professional Association of Early Years Education in Finland, these roles are fundamental to the profession (Moriarty, 2000, p. 239). The roles of teachers include a variety of responsibilities that together contribute to the continuity between pre-school and formal school. Kindergarten in Ontario Since the beginning of kindergarten in Ontario, the purpose has been to prepare children or comprehensive (primary) school. The popularisation of kindergartens in Ontario parallels the expansion of kindergartens in Finland in the late 19th century.
The wide acceptance of Friedrich Froebel’s kindergarten beliefs contribute to the growth of kindergartens in Ontario in the late 19th century which was urged by the Ministry of Education (Milewski, 2010, p. 261). From 1940- 1967 the number of kindergartens grew and were expected to plan programs that “[developed] closer connections between kindergartens and primary schooling” (Heydon & Wang, 2006, p. 36). It was recognized in the Education Act in 1887 (“Early Childhood Education in Ontario,” 2001, p. 10 ).
Later, kindergartens were built to prepare children for school; and due to the influx of immigrants after WWII, in the 1950’s, kindergartens were introduced for four year olds in Toronto as a transition to school for immigrant children” (“Early Childhood Education in Ontario,” 2001, p. 10 ) . Since then kindergarten programs have progressed immensely. Throughout time, increased industrialization and changes in the standards of living forced mothers to join the workforce, thus making the education gained through kindergarten the foundation for children’s next stages of schooling in grade one.
Presently, kindergarten continues to serve the same purpose it did traditionally, which also corresponds with the purpose of kindergarten in Finland. Kindergarten in Ontario is part of the Ministry of Education’s Early Learning Program. It differs from Finland’s pre-school program, as kindergarten in Ontario is for children aged 4 to 5. Contrary to Finland, where formal schooling begins at the age of 7, Ontario children begin compulsory schooling at the age of 6. In addition, Finland’s pre-school program for children aged 6-7 is the stage of kindergarten that is most comparable to the program in Ontario.
There are two grades of kindergarten in Ontario; junior kindergarten (JK) and senior kindergarten (SK) (“Early Childhood Education in Ontario,” 2001, p. 3). Unlike Finland, both JK and SK are the sole responsibility of the Ontario Ministry of Education and are administered by school boards throughout the province. Currently the kindergarten program in Ontario is receiving a tremendous amount of attention as the McGuinty government has passed bill 242, legitimizing the transformation from the current kindergarten structure in Ontario to full-day everyday programs for 4 and 5 year olds (Elliot, 2010).
The reform will be gradual and is expected to be fully implemented by 2015/2016 (Huber, 2009). The implementation of Bill 242, is monumental in Ontario’s education community. The purpose of both the current program and the new program prepare children for grade 1, which will be discussed further. Kindergarten Programs and Curriculum in Ontario The purpose of kindergarten in Ontario corresponds with the purpose of pre-school in Finland, to prepare children for their first year of formal schooling. The emphasis of the kindergarten program in Ontario is “placed on early childhood learning outcomes and school readiness” (White, p.669, 2004).
There are two grades of kindergarten, JK and SK and both fall under the Ministry of Education and follow the same curriculum. They are typically integrated due to enrolment. JK is a discretionary program for children who are 4 years of age by December 3, whereas SK is for children who are 5 years of age by December 31 (“Early Childhood Education in Ontario,” 2001, p. 3). In 1998, “68 of Ontario’s 72 school boards offered JK half day classes” (Ritchie, n. d. , para. 5). In Ontario, “both the senior and junior kindergarten programs, also called the Early Years” and are optional and free to all children.
Mandatory schooling begins in Grade One” (“Kindergarten,” 2010). Most eligible children attend and instructional hours are not currently defined by the Education Act; however school boards decide on normal day schedule (“Early Childhood Education in Ontario,” 2001, p. 2). Generally there are four models; half day; every day for both JK and SK which is two and half hours, full -day, alternate day for JK and SK, full-day (“Early Childhood Education in Ontario,” 2001, p. 2). These are decided on by the school boards and are determined by the communities the schools operate in.
For example rural schools, typically have full-day, alternate day programs with combined JK and SK due to bussing from remote areas. The maximum number of children in a kindergarten is 22 and there is one qualified teacher assigned to the class, unlike Finland which has additional personnel (“Early Childhood Education in Ontario,” 2001, p. 3). School boards determine whether and when to employ teaching assistants. Teachers deliver programs that “adopt a child-centered approach and an integrated view of learning” (Heydon & Wang, 2006, p. 39).
Kindergarten programs in Ontario focus on both academic and social development, whereby they are provided with a multitude of opportunities and experiences essential to progressive education. The Ministry of Education states that the foundational experiences in kindergarten are “crucial to the future well-being of children, and establish the foundation for the acquisition of knowledge and skills that will affect later learning and behaviour” (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2006). In effect, the focus of the current kindergarten program is to help children achieve early learning outcomes and school readiness.
Children are valued as individuals and are also “valued for what they can produce in the future” (Heydon & Wang, 2006, p. 40). In this view, human capital theory applies to kindergarten program in Ontario. Providing children with early learning experiences increases their opportunities as they progress in life and enables them to contribute to society as they become adults. Similarities are also seen in the new model. In September 2010, the four models that are currently available will transform to full-day and be implemented gradually over the course of five years. The enormity of the reform necessitates a hefty investment.
The government has committed to $1. 5 billion annually and $500-million over the next two years of the program (Johnson, 2010, p. 54). When examined through the guise of Frank’s framework for critiquing educational policy and reform, the element of policy effectiveness is questioned by opposing governments because of the amount of money involved along with the current deficit of $24. 7 billion (Huber, 2009). Despite the costs, Bill 242 has received a support from a variety of organizations such as the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario and the Ontario English Teachers Catholic Association.
In addition, parents and teachers support the reform. Although the structure of kindergarten will change, the purpose will remain the same under the new policy. Many costs are involved in this new policy such as “renovations of schools and hiring more teachers and early childhood educators to staff the new program” (Friesen, 2009). Nonetheless, the benefits of providing full-day every day programs outweigh the cost as the program is more aligned with the parents work day, therefore reducing the parent’s childcare costs.
Moreover, there will be more support in the classroom for both children and kindergarten teachers as they will be assigned a qualified early childhood educator (ECE), which is comparable to Finland’s model (Johnson, 2010, p. 54). In addition, Bill 242, will also require school boards to set up and directly operate extended day programs for kindergarten pupils which emulates Finland’s model of giving pre-school children the right to day care once pre-school is over. This aspect of the reform will establish relationships between kindergarten teachers and day care personnel as they will operate in the same setting.
According to Hofstede’s framework and the dimension of power distance, an inequality is created between the kindergarten programs and parents. Parents will have one option for kindergarten, rather than the two that are currently exist. Parent’s options thus become limited. Some may prefer to place their children in half day programs as they may feel that the kindergarten teachers will have a stronger influence on their children’s’ lives, due to the length of the day and the frequency of the new program; however disadvantaged children will benefit from the reformed program.
Moreover, it will likely increase the productivity of the citizens of Ontario as favourable research exists pertaining to the effects of early childhood education on the brain development and subsequent success in school particularly for disadvantaged children, but also for children who are not poor (White, 2004, p. 671). Furthermore, Premier McGuinty, states “in a highly competitive globalized, knowledge-based economy it is absolutely essential that we invest in the younger generation to ensure that we build a powerful workforce that can compete and win against the best anywhere in the planet” (Huber, 2009).
It is clear from the Premier’s statement that this program falls under the human formation theory. There has been a great deal of literature connecting the “early childhood education and positive economic outcomes, for example creating a more productive workforce through higher high school graduation rates, improved employment and earnings, better health outcomes, an less welfare dependency” (White, 2004, p. 672). It is evident that an objective of kindergarten in this model is not only to prepare children for formal school, but to also prepare them to contribute to economic growth and development.
Through Frank’s element of theoretical adequacy, the rational for the new policy is compelling as there is a connection between kindergarten education on the brain development and subsequent success in school and studies suggest that “that the kindergarten child in a full-day program finds the transition to Grade 1 easier and is not as overwhelmed with the change as a Kindergarten child in a half-day program (Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, 2008, p. 13). Moreover, full-day programs benefit disadvantaged children as they will be entitled to full-day every day education where consistency and support will exist in their lives. Under the Frank’s element of empirical.