Millions of pre-schoolers lack access to affordable, high-quality education opportunities.
- High-quality pre-school increases a child’s chances of success in school and in life. Children who attend are less likely to be held back a grade or to need special education. They have higher earnings as adults and are less likely to receive welfare or commit crime.
- Nearly 50 percent of all kindergarten teachers report that at least half of their students come to school with problems that hinder their success.
- Only 28 percent of 4-year-olds and 4percent of 3-year-olds are served by pre-k programs prior to kindergarten, and 10 states have no regular state preschool education program. 42% of children are in programs that meet less than half of quality standards.
- In 2012, total pre-kindergarten funding by states fell by $548 million.
- Federal funding for the Head Start early education and nutrition program has been cut in the budget “sequester” Congress created in 2011. Students in many states and programs have been negatively impacted.
- Pre-Kindergarten Education Programs Lead to Better Future Educational Performance – Low-income children who attend pre-school programs perform at higher levels than those who do not. Children attending high-quality programs had one or more of the following outcomes: lower special education rates, lower grade retention rates, higher achievement test scores, higher high school graduation rates, and higher post secondary enrollment rates.
- Pre-Kindergarten Education Programs Help the Economy Thrive – The average benefits from a universally accessible pre-school education program at ages 3 and 4 are estimated to be at least $25,000 per child, substantially more than the costs. The estimated cost- per-child (mixing half day, school day, and full day programs) is $8-$17K for two years.