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David Philpott, an education professor at Memorial University, says full-day kindergarten was overdue in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Educators in the province are applauding the government's decision to bring in full-day kindergarten in 2016, which they announced in last week's budget.

Newfoundland and Labrador is the only Atlantic province that doesn't have full-day kindergarten, and it's estimated 80 per cent of 5-year-olds in Canada have experienced it.

David Philpott, an education professor at Memorial University in St. John's, said full-day kindergarten is overdue in the province.

"It was a huge sigh of relief," he said.

Philpott, who is also involved with the Jimmy Pratt Foundation and the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation, said he was pleased government finally acted on the issue.

"So we were thrilled, we were surprised and we were absolutely invigorated that the government has finally listened to the research and to the knowledge base on the benefits of full-day kindergarten."

Philpott said it will also be a big relief for many parents, who struggle to find safe and affordable options for their children when they aren't in school.

He added that full-day kindergarten remains an option for parents who think their children may not be ready for it.