Investing in Early Education Pays Off

State and federal investments in preschool are growing. Total state funding for preschool programs increased for the fourth year in a row last year to nearly $7 billion, according to The Education Commission of the States. And the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) increases funding for early childhood education in three ways—Title I funding, Title II funding and Preschool Development Grants.

While we have made some progress as a country in public funding, we still need many improvements in access and equity. An estimated 46 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds still lack access to preschool in any form, public or private, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Even fewer have access to high-quality programs: a staggering 52 percent of low-income children and 25 percent of moderate- to high-income children arrive on the first day of kindergarten unprepared.

Here we cover two recent studies that show longitudinal benefits for two different types of kindergarten readiness efforts:

  • a traditional preschool program;
  • and a home-based kindergarten readiness program.

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