Map Reveals the Best & Worst States When It Comes to Early Education Systems
Many parents might not see pre-K as that important when compared to higher education. Of course, as kids get older, that’s when they learn more—but that doesn’t mean that pre-K isn’t important. In fact, because kids take in so much when they’re so young, pre-K may even be more important that upper grades. Even attendance to pre-K at all can be crucial.
Science backs us up here. A study by the National Institute for Early Education Research found that students who attended pre-K full time perform better on math and literacy tests than those who only attend part-time pre-K. Additionally, kids who participate in pre-K programs are actually less likely to engage in crime in the future than those who don’t. Crazy, right?
Now that we’ve got your attention, check out which areas harbor the best pre-K programs around (and the worst). This list was determined by WalletHub, which compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions, “Access,” “Quality” and “Resources & Economic Support.” In total, there were 12 key metrics used to calculate the overall score and rank.
Under “Access,” WalletHub considered factors such as the share of school districts that offer state pre-k programs, share of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in state pre-k programs, the share of 3- and 4-year olds enrolled in both pre-k and pre-k special education, and presence of waiting lists or frozen intake for child care assistance.
As for “Quality,” the states were ranked according to whether their pre-k quality benchmarks were met, the income requirement for state pre-k eligibility, and the requirement of school safety plans and audits.
“Resources & Economic Support” considered the total reported spending per child enrolled in preschool, the change in state spending per child, the total state head start program spending per child enrolled, and the monthly child care co-payment fees as share of family income.
Check out all the details below, including which states rank high and low!
|Overall Rank||State||Total Score||Access||Quality||Resources & Economic Support|
|3||District of Columbia||68.11||2||19||23|