When To Move Your Child From Full-Day To Half-Day Preschool

When you put your son or daughter in preschool, it's common to start by having him or her attend half-day preschool for a year, and then moving up to full-day preschool afterward. Some parents decide to skip the half-day scenario, however, and enroll their children in the full-day option right away. Many children thrive in full-day preschool, but this isn't always the case. It's possible that you may notice some struggles with your child and are concerned about how to proceed. There's no harm in moving your son or daughter from full-day to half-day preschool, even for part of the school year. Here are some reasons that you may wish to arrange this move.


It's a big adjustment for a child to go from spending all day at home to spending much of the day in the classroom. Some kids adapt to this change well, while others battle significant bouts of fatigue. There's little question that preschool can be tiring to a student—learning new rules, meeting new friends, and performing a variety of activities throughout the day can tire your child out by bedtime. However, if your son or daughter isn't sleeping well, he or she may be chronically fatigued to the point that full-day preschool becomes difficult. This may be a time to consider making the switch to the half-day option.

Feeling Overwhelmed

You may simply be aware of the fact that full-day preschool is currently too much for your child. Children mature at different levels, and some children need more time before they're spending much of the day in the classroom. For example, if you've always made a point of scheduling social outings for your child, full-day preschool can simply be an extension of these activities. However, if your child has been fairly sheltered up until now, he or she may find full-day preschool overwhelming. Scaling back to a half-day schedule can suit the child well.

Parents' Divorce

If you and your spouse are going through a divorce, it's important to realize that your child will be experiencing a variety of emotions—even if he or she isn't fully aware of the ramifications of what is going on. It may be difficult for your son or daughter to concentrate during a full-day preschool schedule, and you may find that moving to half days—for perhaps half of the school year—can be best for your child as he or she adapts to the change in the family.