State-Funded Full-Day Kindergarten
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State-Funded Full-Day Kindergarten in Washington

State-funded full-day kindergarten is part of the state’s constitutionally protected definition of “Basic Education.”

Funding for School Years 2015–2016 and 2016–2017
On June 29, 2015, the Legislature passed the state biennial operating budget which included funding for the statewide implementation of full-day kindergarten. In the 2015-16 school year, 71.88% of kindergarten students are funded and in the 2016-17 school year, 100% will be eligible to receive funding.

Memorandum 037-15M was sent out on July 1, 2015, notifying school districts of the schools that are eligible to receive funding beginning in the 2015–16 school year. A total of 359 new schools in 139 school districts with an estimated 23,484 students will be funded. Thirty-one school districts with 48 eligible schools declined funding for a variety of reasons, including: no classroom space; the school is an Alternative, Parent-partnering, or Online school; or for another reason.

With the additional schools, a total of 847 elementary schools in 261 school districts with an estimated 58,833 students will receive funding for full-day kindergarten in the 2015-16 school year. View the summary of the current status of full-day kindergarten.

List of schools (and the current status of their funding). The list includes: Schools that received funding in the 2014-15 school year; schools that will begin to receive funding in 2015-16; schools in which funds were declined; and schools that will be newly eligible in the 2016-17 school year.

Eligibility and Program Elements
Determination of eligibility for state-funded full-day kindergarten is based on an individual school’s poverty percentage from the prior school year in October.
Schools must meet the following program elements to be eligible for state funds for full-day kindergarten

  • At least 1,000 hours of instruction in 180 school days. However, schools may use up to three days at the beginning of the school year for the WaKIDS “Family Connection”
  • Curriculum that offers a rich, varied set of experiences that assist students in:
    • Developing initial skills in the academic areas of reading, mathematics, and writing;
    • Developing a variety of communication skills;
    • Providing experiences in science, social studies, arts, health and physical education, and a world language other than English;
    • Acquiring large and small motor skills;
    • Acquiring social and emotional skills including successful participation in learning activities as an individual and as part of a group; and
    • Learning through hands-on experiences.
  • Establish learning environments that are developmentally appropriate and promote creativity.
  • Demonstrate strong connections and communication with early learning community providers.
  • Participate in kindergarten program readiness activities with early learning providers and parents.
  • Administer the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS).
  • Provide full-day kindergarten to all students who request it.

Full-day Kindergarten Guide
OSPI, in conjunction with Early Learning Coordinators in the Bellingham and Sumner School Districts, have created a Full-day Kindergarten Guide for administrators and teachers as they design and implement full-day kindergarten classrooms in Washington.

Additional Helpful Resources
For more information, including how to design a successful full-day kindergarten program.

State Laws on State-Funded Full-Day Kindergarten


Full-Day Kindergarten Implementation Webinar
July 8, 2015

Presentation: WMV | PPT | PDF | PPT Handouts | FDK Requirements

Excerpts from the Upcoming: Washington FDK Guide-Child Development | Washington FDK Guide - Learning Environment

The webinar will be held to discuss how to design full-day kindergarten classrooms that are academically rigorous and developmentally appropriate.

State-Funded Full-Day Kindergarten and WaKIDS Webinar, April 28, 2015
Presentation: PPT | PDF | WMV
The webinar provides information useful to school district staff and school principals who may receive funding for state-funded full-day kindergarten and be implementing the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS), the state's kindergarten assessment.

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