UNION, Ky. — After being discussed for years, full-day kindergarten will be a reality for Boone County Schools next school year.
Shirley Mann Elementary School in Union, Kentucky is one school which will be offering full-day kindergarten. Principal Connie Crigger said the reason this wasn't implemented earlier was a lack of physical space in the school and funding. However, new school buildings and legislation passed in Frankfort is helping to make this a reality.
Crigger said early childhood development is critical to a child's development, and offering full-day kindergarten will hopefully help in the development of children in the area.
"Our goal is really to make sure we have kids at grade level specifically by third grade," Crigger said. "Adding this to it is just a tremendous boost."
Many parents are looking forward to this addition as well. Amanda Jahn has a 5-year-old daughter who she plans on sending to New Haven Elementary School.
"We've always just operated under the fact that she would be in half-day. Both my husband and I work full time, so we have to depend on my in-laws to provide childcare," Jahn said. "It's a weight off our shoulders for sure, but also just the extra opportunities that she'll have."
Full-day kindergarten offers working families the chance to choose both raising children and work. Lisa Mulcahy, vice-president of workforce development with the NKY Chamber of Commerce, said this shift will benefit the workforce.
"The state of Kentucky alone lost over 100,000 women to the workforce through the pandemic," Mulcahy said. "Just with that full-day kindergarten, it obviously allows so many of our working moms to really head back into the workforce."
Administrators with Boone County Schools hope they can get their kindergarten enrollment finished early so they can plan ahead and get the correct number of teachers for next school year.