DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Independent School District’s newly expanded pre-kindergarten program debuted Monday.

The district’s youngest students now attend classes all day.

Previously, the kids only went to three hours of classes.  But teacher Yvette Ramirez says that just wasn’t enough.  “Everything just touched the tip of the iceberg,” she said.  “This way we get to build a more solid foundation.”

More than 8,400 students attend DISD’s pre-k program.  Beth Steerman oversees it.

“Investing in these children in pre-k is the best investment we can make,” she said.  “Not only investing in our children, but investing in the future of our community.”

All but six of Dallas’ elementary schools offer the full-day pre-k program.  The remaining six don’t offer it because they are already overcrowded.