The proportion of the nation’s 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool has risen since 2005-07, but more than half (53%) still are not enrolled, according to the recently released Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book. In 2005-07, by comparison, 56% of U.S. children were not enrolled in preschool. KIDS COUNT bases its estimates of preschool attendance on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which measures enrollment in preschool or nursery school in the two previous months.
KIDS COUNT also gives a racial and ethnic breakdown of the 2008-10 data. The figures below indicate the proportion of 3- and 4-year-olds nationally who are not enrolled in preschool:
- Asian and Pacific Islander: 48%
- Non-Hispanic white: 50%
- African-American: 50%
- American Indian: 59%
- Hispanic: 63%
Here in Massachusetts, 41% of 3- and 4-year-olds are not enrolled in preschool, according to 2008-10 data, compared with 44% in 2005-07. Only two states – Connecticut (38%) and New Jersey (36%) – ranked better than the Bay State. “New Jersey has invested heavily in its public prekindergarten programs, especially in the state’s poorest cities where large numbers of African-American and Latino children are benefiting,” Ed Week’s Early Years blog reports.