Kentucky just received some strong rankings for our state preschool efforts, placing us...
17th in percent of 4-year-olds enrolled in state prekindergarten, with 30% of 4-year-olds enrolled in our state-funded program
10th in percent of 3-year-olds enrolled in state kindergarten, with 7.4% of that age group enrolled in the state program
30th in resources based on state spending of $3,469 per enrolled child
11th in resources based on all reported spending, which totals $6,818 per enrolled child
Those rankings and numbers come from The State of Preschool 2013-14, just released by the National Institute for Early Education Research, which also credited Kentucky's state program with meeting...
9 of 10 state pre-k quality standards, missing only the one that calls for assistant teachers to have child development associate or equivalent credentials.
Do note that the participation rates above are just for the state program. Adding in federal Head Start, the report shows 17% of three-year-olds and 46% of four-year-olds in Kentucky benefit from publicly supported programs.
It's also worth noting some uncomfortable one-year changes shown in the report. In 2013-14, Kentucky state preschool enrolled 90 fewer three-year-olds and 169 fewer four-year-olds than in 2012-13. In the same period, state funding did not keep up with inflation, so that preschool buying power went down $186 per enrolled child.
However, there is good reason to expect those trends to turn around in 2015-16, when the state budget will add nearly $19 million in funding, estimated to be enough to allow another 5,000 children to participate in our state preschool program.
Those results show Kentucky doing better than most states,
definitely a cause for a moment of genuine pride in our investment in
the futures of these young Kentuckians.