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Kindergarten Overview

kindergarten students and teacher


The kindergarten year is a critical time in a child's early development and learning. Recent research shows that children benefit most when they are provided opportunities to learn new information in a variety of ways and time to put their new and emerging skills to use. 

A quality kindergarten program supports whole child learning and development and provides children the time they need to build the foundational skills and the joy for learning which will support them throughout school and life.



Full Day Kindergarten


Seattle School district offers full-day kindergarten at all elementary and K-8 schools. Making full-day kindergarten accessible for all students is important because research shows that children participating in developmentally appropriate, full-day programs make greater gains both socially and academically. Full-day kindergarten provides young learners the time they need to engage in learning in ways that effectively support them in building the foundational social and academic skills they need to support learning throughout their education.

Research shows that children who participate in full-day kindergarten have:

  • Stronger foundations and skills for the elementary grades
  • Greater overall academic achievement
  • Improved attendance
  • Enhanced literacy and language development and math
  • Better social and emotional development

Visit Enrollment for information about enrolling your kindergarten student.

To ensure availability of full-day kindergarten for all students, Seattle Public Schools depends on a combination of state basic education funding and parent fees. Washington State basic education funding only provides sufficient funding to cover the cost for half-day kindergarten. To make full-day kindergarten available at all elementary and K-8 schools, the district must raise the funds for the other half of the kindergarten day.  The fees collected for full-day kindergarten are used to recover the cost for the balance of the kindergarten day which state funds do not cover. 

Requesting a Part Day Schedule


Seattle School District offers full-day Kindergarten at all our elementary and K-8 Schools. Families who prefer to have their child attend for part of the day rather than a full day may do so. To request a part day schedule, parents should register their child for kindergarten contacting the principal at the school their child will attend.

Full Day Kindergarten Fees


Washington State basic education funding only provides funding to cover the costs of offering half-day kindergarten. To make full-day kindergarten available at all Seattle Schools, the district must recover the cost for the non-funded portion of the kindergarten day: 

  • Fees are charged to recover the cost for the portion of the kindergarten day which state basic education does not support.
  • Enrollment is on a full school year basis. 
  • Students whose family income qualifies them to receive free/reduced priced meals at school (FRL).
  • Seattle School where 55% or more of the students enrolled are eligible for FRL are not required to pay full day kindergarten fees.
  • Families may also choose to limit their child’s attendance to half day only. There is no fee for children who attend half day only. To qualify for half day preference, the family must request a formal change in enrollment status and coordination with the school principal in developing the half time schedule.

Our Accounting Department provides additional information about Paying for Kindergarten including how to make online payments and how to determine if you qualify for FRL.


Kindergarten Readiness


Families are a child’s first teacher and play a critical role in both preparing their child for kindergarten and supporting their learning throughout their education. For activities and ideas on ways you can help prepare your child, visit our Kindergarten Readiness Resources.


<<back to PreK-3rd Early Learning Department

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