About this Indicator
An early indicator of academic preparation is defined by the percentage of children ages 3 to 4 enrolled in preschool. Early childhood education provides a critical foundation for successfully managing subsequent academic challenges. Relative to children in control groups, participants in high-quality, educationally-focused programs have exhibited greater long-term gains in IQ, lower rates of grade repetition and special education placements, and higher rates of high school graduation and college attendance. Moreover, cost-benefit analyses of such programs have shown that benefits are 2.5 to 16.2 times greater than costs when accounting for such factors as adult earnings and cost savings in K-12 education, corrections, welfare, and healthcare.
U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey one-year estimates: School enrollment by type of school by age for the population 3 years and over.
Note. The estimates for 2019 and 2020 are not reported due to data collection problems that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pianta, R. C., Barnett, W. S., Burchinal, M., & Thornburg, K. R. (2009). The effects of preschool education: What we know, how public policy is or is not aligned with the evidence base, and what we need to know. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 10(2), 49-88.