The effect of universal full-day Kindergarten on children’s behavior

Working paper, 2018

Recommended citation: Friesen, Jane, Brian Krauth, and Reza Sattari (2018). "The effect of universal full-day Kindergarten on children’s behavior." Working paper, Simon Fraser University.

We exploit the staggered rollout of universal full-day Kindergarten (FDK) to estimate its effects on children’s behavior and related family outcomes. Our research design identifies these effects by comparing across-cohort changes in outcomes among early versus late adopting schools. We find little effect of FDK on child behavior or parents’ mental health, and an increase in hours worked by parents who are employed part-time. These results hold across a range of child and family characteristics, with one exception. In families who do not speak English at home, FDK reduces child hyperactivity and peer relationship problems, improves parents’ mental health and increases employment and hours.

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