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Outcome Measures

Income Poverty Rate

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Liquid Asset Poverty by Race

Liquid Asset Poverty by Gender

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CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard

Quality of State Pre-K Programs

Reports & Graphics

Definition

States with established state pre-K programs, including funding and quality standards, 2010-2011 school year.

Description

Early childhood development creates a foundation for later school achievement, workforce productivity, responsible citizenship and successful parenting. Pre-K programs prepare children for learning, both in school and later in the workforce, and are vital to a state’s economic prosperity. States should establish and fund high-quality pre-K programs that are accessible to all children.

States are assessed on the following criteria:

  • Does the state have an established state pre-K program? Because federal support for early childhood education programs does not sufficiently cover all children, state supported pre-K programs are critical. State supported pre-K programs create opportunities that prepare young children for school, particularly economically disadvantaged children who are at greater risk of educational failure. State-funded pre-K programs should be offered in a variety of settings, including private for-profit and nonprofit child care centers, Head Start programs, public schools and faith-based centers.
  • Does the state provide sufficient funding for a high-quality state pre-K program? Of the 39 states (including the District of Columbia) with state-supported programs, only 18 provide funding sufficient to run high-quality pre-K programs. State per-child spending should meet the National Institute for Early Education Research’s (NIEER) estimates of the necessary amount to provide high-quality programs.
  • Does the state pre-K program include high-quality standards? States should establish high-quality standards for pre-K programs to ensure children have access to meaningful learning environments. To help children develop socially and mentally, states should set high-quality benchmarks for pre-K programs that are proven to nurture children’s development. NIEER recommends 10 quality benchmarks that are foundational elements of high-quality programs, ranging from teacher training to class size to availability of supportive services. States should adopt these standards in their pre-K policies.

Although early childhood education is not a Policy Priority in the current Scorecard, it was in prior years. The 2009 Resource Guide  and  Policy Brief provide more information on strong Early Childhood Education policies. In 2007 and 2009, CFED also published the following case studies on early childhood education:

Progress in North Carolina (published September 2009)
With significant legislative and gubernatorial support for early childhood education and the institutionalization of community support through local boards, there has historically not been a need to organize a statewide advocacy coalition around early childhood education in North Carolina. However, the recent economic downturn, combined with the transition to a new governor, made it clear the early childhood system would not be immune from budget cuts. Click here to read more.

Oregon’s Ready For School Campaign (published September 2007)
The long-term goal of the Ready for School campaign is for all Oregon children to arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed. Working with the Children’s Institute, an Oregon nonprofit that moves research to action, Ready for School focused on getting the state legislature to fully fund Oregon Head Start Prekindergarten (OPK) as its first action step. OPK, a comprehensive high quality pre-kindergarten program for three- and four-year-olds living in poverty, was producing excellent results, but only reaching 60% of the eligible children. Click here to read more.

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Quality of State Pre-K Programs

StateEstablished
state Pre-K
initiative?
Dollar amount
per child enrolled
in Pre-K ($)
Sufficient state
funding?
Adequately high standards
(7 of 10 standards met)?
Alabama  Yes  $5,680  No  Yes (10) 
Alaska  Yes  $6,855  Yes  Yes (10) 
Arizona  No  —  —  — 
Arkansas  Yes  $8,126  Yes  Yes (9) 
California  Yes  $5,428  No  No (3) 
Colorado  Yes  $3,623  No  No (6) 
Connecticut  Yes  $10,565  Yes  No (6) 
Delaware  Yes  $6,795  Yes  Yes (8) 
District of Columbia 1 Yes  $11,665  —  No (5.5) 2
Florida  Yes  $2,422  No  No (3) 
Georgia  Yes  $4,299  No  Yes (10) 
Hawaii  No  —  —  — 
Idaho  No  —  —  — 
Illinois  Yes  $3,449  No  Yes (9) 
Indiana  No  —  —  — 
Iowa  Yes  $3,945  No  No (6.9) 
Kansas  Yes  $2,640  No  Yes (7) 
Kentucky  Yes  $6,718  Yes  Yes (9) 
Louisiana  Yes  $4,768  No  Yes (8.9) 
Maine  Yes  $4,555  Yes  No (6) 
Maryland  Yes  $9,846  Yes  Yes (9) 
Massachusetts  Yes  $3,691  No  No (6) 
Michigan  Yes  $4,453  No  Yes (7) 
Minnesota  Yes  $7,475  Yes  Yes (9) 
Mississippi  No  —  —  — 
Missouri  Yes  $3,085  No  Yes (9) 
Montana  No  —  —  — 
Nebraska  Yes  $2,656  No  No (6) 
Nevada  Yes  $3,297  No  Yes (7) 
New Hampshire  No  —  —  — 
New Jersey  Yes  $11,669  Yes  Yes (8.8) 
New Mexico  Yes  $3,561  No  Yes (8) 
New York  Yes  $3,685  No  Yes (7) 
North Carolina  Yes  $7,910  No  Yes (10) 
North Dakota  No  —  —  — 
Ohio  Yes  $3,942  No  No (2) 
Oklahoma  Yes  $7,690  Yes  Yes (9) 
Oregon  Yes  $8,454  Yes  Yes (8) 
Pennsylvania  Yes  $5,193  No  No (5.2) 
Rhode Island  Yes  $9,127  Yes  Yes (10) 
South Carolina  Yes  $2,934  No  No (6.7) 
South Dakota  No  —  —  — 
Tennessee  Yes  $5,853  No  Yes (9) 
Texas  Yes  $3,761  No  No (4) 
Utah  No  —  —  — 
Vermont  Yes  $3,272  No  No (4) 
Virginia  Yes  $5,892  No  Yes (7) 
Washington  Yes  $6,780  Yes  Yes (9) 
West Virginia  Yes  $9,136  Yes  Yes (8) 
Wisconsin  Yes  $5,424  Yes  No (5.1) 
Wyoming  No  —  —  — 

Source

Barnett, W. Steven, et al. The State of Preschool 2011: State Preschool Yearbook. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research, 2011.

"—" Indicates that no data is available.

Footnotes

1. Due to the differences between city-level and statewide programs, the District of Columbia's preschool initiatives cannot be directly compared to state programs.

2. The District of Columbia has two preschool programs: one meets 8 quality benchmarks, and one meets 5 quality benchmarks.

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