Full day kindergarten increases educational attainment

"Nothing is more important as we look to our future than the education of our children.... Government will place early learning and early-childhood development at the forefront of efforts to improve our education services.... Full-time, five-year-old kindergarten will begin to be delivered in schools throughout British Columbia in September of 2010."

The Honourable Steven L. Point, OBC, Speech from the Throne, 2009

Universal full day kindergarten will be implemented in British Columbia over the next two years.

A study by The Child and Youth Development Trajectory Research Unit at the University of British Columbia linked data to assess the long term impact of full day kindergarten.


Data sources linked

  • Statistics Canada census tract data
  • BC Ministry of Educatioin student level data
  • Foundation Skills Assessment test scores

What did we learn?

  • Full day kindergarten has significant long term benefits, increasing levels of educational attainment in grade 4.
  • The impacts of full day kindergarten are not higher for more disadvantaged students.
  • Even the relatively modest impacts from full day kindergarten yield benefits for the economy that are huge relative to the costs.

Policy implications

  • The study provided the government with evidence that the planned expansion of full day kindergarten would have long term benefits.
  • The Ministry of Education is supporting a rigorous evaluation of the effects of full day kindergarten on BC’s children. Potential data sources include health data and records of employment, in addition to education data and the Early Development Instrument.

Linked data research — informing policy-making for healthier communities

Population Data BC provides researchers with access to the data and training they need to address research questions on human health, well-being and development. Population Data BC does not have its own researchers or research program.

Page last revised: August 13, 2014