Are we content to wait another 75 years to enroll 50% of our nation’s four-year-olds in high-quality pre-K? What about 150 years to enroll 70%? That’s the current pace of change, according to the newly-released annual State of Preschool Yearbook, from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). Across the nation, only 29% of four-year-olds and 4% of three-year-olds were enrolled in state-funded pre-K.
NIEER reports that total state funding for pre-K increased by more than $116 million – just 1% – in 2014, the equivalent of $61 per child on average. State funding per child for pre-K increased by at least 1%, but that’s still well below pre-recession levels. While these small increases in investment may indicate that state pre-K funding is turning the corner, there is still a very long way to go in ensuring a quality pre-K start for every child.