The U.S. Department of Education released a new report, A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America, which highlights the current state of early childhood education programs in America and the parity gaps for specific populations. Some of the key highlights in the report include the following:
- Six out of every ten children are not enrolled in a publicly funded preschool programs.
- Despite the fact that Latinos are the fastest growing minority group in the United States, having nearly a quarter of 3-4-year olds, they have the lowest preschool participation rate of 40%.
- In comparison, 50% of African American children are participating in preschool programs, and 53% of white children.
- Socioeconomically, children from low-income families are participating in preschool programs at a rate of 41%, compared to 61% to their well-off counterparts.
- African American children and children from low-income families are the most likely to attend low-quality preschool programs and the least likely to attend high-quality preschool programs.
- 40 states and the District of Columbia offer state preschool programs for approximately 1.1 million 4-year-olds. However, enrollment in individual state programs varies significantly
Other information highlighted in the report includes tables and charts that summarize data by State. The report also highlights state and federal efforts underway, including the reauthorization of ESEA and new grant opportunities, to address the equity gaps and unmet needs for families.
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