Volume 15, Issue 19

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hot Topics

Funding for early education usually takes the back burner, but recent reports turn up the heat on policymakers to restructure the resources available to our children.

In Full-Day Kindergarten: A Look Across the States, the Education Commission of the States provides policymakers an overview of current program requirements and funding methods and advocates increased educational access for all students.

Kids’ Share 2016: Federal Expenditures on Children through 2015 and Future Projections focuses on limited federal funding available to programs serving children. The report, commissioned by First Focus and produced by the Urban Institute, examines federal spending and tax investments in children and families--revealing that spending on children is just 10 percent of the federal budget and projected to decline to less than 8 percent over the next decade, with the biggest drops in K-12 and early education.

New on Preschool Matters...Today!

by Melissa Dahlin

The early childhood field is committed to increasing access to high quality early learning experiences. But the work doesn’t stop at enrollment –we need to ensure children are consistently attending in order to reap the benefits.

Every day in high quality programs provides ongoing learning opportunities. Missing out on that can have both short- and long- term consequences for a child. September is Attendance Awareness Month, a national effort promoting  pre-K attendance as the first step in establishing positive attendance patterns as children set off on their educational journey.  For more information on promoting attendance, see this Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes esource.

by Jim Squires

Each spring when NIEER releases The State of Preschool Yearbook there is a rush to compare one state to another. States ranking high in access, resources and quality are pleased while others are disappointed their preschool efforts fall short. This is especially true when states look at the number of benchmarks for minimum acceptable quality standards attained; only 7 programs achieved all 10 benchmarks in 2015. If this is as far as policymakers, administrators, and the public examine the annual preschool report, however, they are missing a bigger picture.

The annual report contains a wealth of information–and many hidden stories– particularly in the recently published Appendix A which offers state-by-state details on many important and interesting aspects of states’ preschool programs

Resources

Robert C. Pianta urges next president to ensure that every low-income child in America is enrolled in two full years of preschool starting at age 3, acknowledge that programs for preschoolers now delivered through federal support need strengthening, integrate and realign existing federal investments, such as funds for preschool education and subsidies for child care, to more-effective programs run by states, and establish a robust federal monitoring system in the Department of Education to ensure state accountability in serving young and vulnerable children. 

“ESSA: Early Childhood Requirements and Opportunities” is a new MACC@WestEd resource that highlights portions of the Every Student Succeeds Act that affect state, district, and school efforts to support early learning. The document identifies requirements in the law as well as provisions that establish opportunities for educators to advance high quality experiences for early learners.

More ESSA and early education resources can be found here

Georgia released a new online site, Planning Education Activities for Children (PEACH), along with a technical how-to-manual to assist early educators with linking classroom assessment, standards, and curriculum planning.  Support for its roll-out is provided by DECAL via its regional coaches. It integrates the Georgia Early Learning & Development Standards (GELDS) with its age-level (from birth - 5 years) standards and embedded video examples (not for all standards, tho). It may not be the full solution for having a qualified workforce, but it is an attempt to strengthen things within their operating context.

New on nieer.org

The annual State of Preschool Yearbook contains a wealth of information–and many hidden stories– particularly in the recently published Appendix A offering state-by-state details on many important and interesting aspects of states’ preschool programs. New in this year’s report is a focus on supports for the preschool teacher workforce and Dual Language Learners.

NIEER Activities

National Institute for Early Education Research Director Steve Barnett recently welcomed a delegation of education policymakers traveling from Oslo, Norway to observe high-quality preschool programs in Union City and New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The visit reflects Dr. Barnett's research and evaluation of early education programs in Norway as part of an international Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development study. OECD uses its wealth of information on a broad range of topics to help governments foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth and financial stability, taking into account environmental implications and social development.

Norway is among the OECD countries with the highest share of public income spent on early childhood education and care, and public funding for the kindergarten sector has strongly increased over the past 15 years, enabling a rapid expansion of service provision. They face an increasingly diverse society and are looking to New Jersey for examples of quality preschool that responds to the needs of immigrant families and children.

CEELO Update

P-3 education is emerging as a key focus for improving outcomes for all children, as gaps in literacy and math proficiency in 3rd grade have been shown to lead to gaps in high school graduation rates and college- and career-readiness. High-quality early childhood services can effectively address these gaps. Yet programs and services provided to young children and their families during these early years are typically highly fragmented due to multiple funding streams, oversight agencies, variety of early education settings and professional roles. 

Calendar

2016 NAEYC Annual Conference
Presenters: Alissa Lange (NIEER) & Kimberly Brenneman (Heising-Simons Foundation)
Topic: Science, Preschoolers
Date: 11/3/2016
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Platinum Ballroom E, JW Marriott, 900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Early Education News Roundup

Monday, September 12, 2016
(US News & World Report)

When it comes to early child care centers or pre-kindergarten classrooms, it's pretty easy to expel a "challenging" child.

Think about it – the child is there voluntarily. There is no legal attendance requirement such as for kids in kindergarten through 12th grade. Therefore, there is no mandated legal process or visit with a social worker or guidance counselor. If a teacher thinks a child is misbehaving too much, the center can call in the parents and simply declare that their child's not a good fit.

That's why suspensions and expulsions from childcare centers and pre-K classrooms are dramatically more frequent than those from kindergarten to 12th grade.

The effects of such early suspension or expulsion are pernicious. Previous research has established that severe behavior problems during the preschool years can predict future academic challenges in kindergarten, elementary and middle school.

Monday, September 12, 2016
(Statesman Journal)

Early learning hubs across the state will implement Preschool Promise this month, with the aim of helping hundreds of children.

Preschool Promise, Oregon’s free preschool program, will start with rolling starting dates across the state in September. The pilot program supports children and families living at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

Preschool Promise will reach approximately 1,300 children across Oregon.

Monday, September 12, 2016
(THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Hillary Clinton has spent decades talking about the needs of children and touting the benefits of early education. It's a new subject for Donald Trump.

The Republican presidential nominee added plans for education to his still relatively thin roster of policy proposals this past week, unveiling an effort to spend $20 billion during his first year in office to help states expand school choice programs. Trump wasn't shy about his intentions, debuting his ideas at an inner-city charter school in Cleveland as part of his new outreach to minority voters.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
(Associated Press)

New federal standards mean that children from low-income families will spend more time in Head Start preschool classes.

The Times-News reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new performance standards last week that are designed to improve the Head Start program. Under the new guidelines, Head Start will provide center-based services four days a week instead of the two it offered before.

The changes also raised educational standards, require more opportunities for parents to get involved and cut regulatory standards by 30 percent.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
(Community Development Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

Experiences during the first few months and years of life create the foundation for learning and development. Supportive early environments help children succeed in school and in life, and provide many benefits that spill over into communities and society. Cost-benefit analyses of high-quality early learning programs show that the monetary benefits to society are much larger than program costs. Sustaining the gains children make in early childhood during elementary school and beyond is important to achieving these high returns.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
(Education Week)

In the five decades since Head Start was formed as part of the War on Poverty, the federally funded preschool program has walked a line between local flexibility and government oversight. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services holds the purse strings for the $8.6 billion program, but local grantees have been encouraged to create programs that fit their communities' needs.

Thursday, September 15, 2016
(Rivard Report)

Pre-K 4 SA four-year-olds have exceeded the national norm in three academic outcomes during the 2015-16 school year while closing significant gaps in three others, according to an annual independent study released Tuesday.

“Results indicated that although Pre-K 4 SA children started the school year significantly below the normed sample in all six outcomes, they surpassed the normed sample in three of the six outcomes (cognitive, literacy, and mathematics) by the end of the year, were not statistically different in oral language or social-emotional, and closed the gap in the physical outcome by 74%,” the study explained in its executive summary.

The report went on to say that “instruction appears to be based on multiple curricular resources, with daily opportunities for children to engage in active learning through varied learning settings.”

Edvance Research Inc. performed what was the third of eight planned annual studies with support from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and Rutgers University in New Jersey. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016
(Los Angeles Times)

Instead of going to school, school will come to you.

That’s the prize-winning idea behind RISE High, a proposed Los Angeles charter high school designed to serve homeless and foster children whose educations are frequently disrupted.

Los Angeles educators Kari Croft, 29, and Erin Whalen, 26, who came up with the idea, won $10 million in XQ: The Super School Project, a high school redesign competition funded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs.

RISE is one of 10 $10-million winning school projects nationwide. Winners receive the prize money over five years.  

Thursday, September 15, 2016
(The Citizen)

Early Head Start services are provided through weekly visits to homes, and the home visitor partners with parents to share activities and information supporting a child's development. When school is in session, it also offers an opportunity for children and their parents to participate in group learning, discussion and social activities. 

Heidi Williams of Gilford is disabled and caring for her 3-year-old grandson, Shawn Cassavaugh.

"My granddaughter had Head Start, but I met with Healthy Families America, and chose to enroll Shawn in Early Head Start because I had such a wonderful experience with my granddaughter," Williams said.

Thursday, September 15, 2016
(US News & World Report)

As envisioned by its bipartisan sponsors, Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Reps. John Kline, R-Minn., and Robert "Bobby" Scott, D-Va., the Every Student Succeeds Act responds to the over-centralization and standardization required by its predecessor, No Child Left Behind, and the top-down approach too often applied by the US Department of Education. While No Child Left Behind changed the conversation in positive ways by using data to discuss groups of students from every background, the department lost the ability to address the whole child and the interrelated systems that shape their lives.

I've called No Child Left Behind "a celebration of separation" because of its piecemeal approach to children's needs and the programs that address them. A holistic approach, with a unified response to the needs of the "whole child" – medical, physical, social, emotional, as well as academic – is what most people I talk to call "common sense." As required by the Every Student Succeeds Act, now is the time to activate the unique potential of states, school-community partnerships, educators and individual students to create state plans that improve outcomes for everybody's children and benefit our entire country.

Thursday, September 15, 2016
(The Houston Chronicle)

When there are too many preschoolers in a classroom with too few teachers, everyone loses. Not only is the taxpayer overpaying for the services delivered, it's frustrating for the teacher, the families and the students.

So what's the optimum number of pre-K students per teacher in a classroom? After Gov. Greg Abbott declared pre-K a priority, the Legislature passed a high-quality pre-K bill in 2015. But it didn't include a standard on student-teacher ratios and maximum class size.

To study the deficit, the Texas Legislature commissioned the Texas Education Agency and the Department of Family and Protective Services to produce a report. The well-researched report, released this month, recommends that all pre-K classrooms should be limited to a maximum of 22 students and allow no more than 11 students for each teacher or aide in pre-K classes with more than 15 students.

The Legislature should act swiftly in the upcoming session to implement the report's recommendations for both student-teacher ratio and maximum class size. To be clear: The report's recommendations aren't designed to achieve a gold standard for pre-K quality; they're needed to keep Texas from falling behind.

The study team frankly notes that the classrooms they observed with the highest-quality scores had student-teacher ratios that ranged from 8 to 1 to the recommended standard of 11 to 1. Similarly, the report points out that the preponderance of research suggests that a lower class size than what is being recommended is better.

According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, 86 percent of all states require fewer children in a pre-K class and 88 percent of states require lower student-teacher ratios than the report's authors are proposing.

While the proposed standards aren't exactly ambitious, they offer much-needed improvement. The report - based on classroom observations as well as submitted data - estimates that approximately 13 to 16 percent of Texas pre-K classrooms have more than 22 students. Among the 97 classrooms observed by the study's authors, the largest class had 29 students, a class size that limits student learning opportunities, according to the non-profit Texans Care for Children.

The data school districts reported to TEA did not include student-teacher ratios. But in the study team's classroom observations, the average student-teacher ratio was 12 to 1. Additionally, the report says that certain classrooms, such as those with high numbers of dual language learners or students with special needs, may need stricter ratio standards.

Several factors give us hope that the Legislature will do the right thing next session. Although there will be a price tag for the standards, many Texas school districts already meet at least one of them, and a higher-quality program with standards will ultimately lead to better educational results and less costly remediation down the road.

In addition, by its actions, the Legislature has acknowledged the importance of quality standards. During the 2015 session, lawmakers required districts receiving grants under the High-Quality Prekindergarten grant program to attempt to provide a teacher for every 11 pre-K students.

Attempts to provide better standards are not enough. Research cited in the study suggests that high-quality early childhood education, "not only benefits children and prepares them for school, but also provides benefits to society as a whole."

Our region will not reap the benefits of the Legislature's investment in pre-K until and unless standards for a successful pre-K experience are adopted and met.

Friday, September 16, 2016
(RocketNews)

Hundreds of thousands more children across the country have access to high-quality early learning programs today, compared to the beginning of the Obama Administration.

In 2013, President Obama put forth his bold Preschool for All proposal to establish a federal-state partnership that would provide high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families. After the President’s call, many states took action and today, all but four states offer preschool to young children. Overall, in the 2015-16 budget year, states increased their investments in preschool programs by nearly $767 million or 12 percent over the 2014-15 fiscal year. And, from 2009 to 2015, states enrolled 48,000 more 4-year-olds enrollment in state preschool....

While states and the federal government have invested in early education, more needs to be done to ensure every parent and family can access and enroll their child in a quality preschool program. Today, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research, only 41 percent of all 4-year-olds and 16 percent of 3-year-olds in the United States are enrolled in publicly funded preschool through state programs, Head Start, or special education. Even fewer children are enrolled in the highest-quality programs.

Friday, September 16, 2016
(PBS Newshour)

When it comes to paid family leave, the United States lags behind every other developed country in the world. Hillary Clinton has stressed childhood issues for decades and has proposed 12 weeks of paid leave and universal preschool. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is the first GOP nominee ever to propose paid family leave and child care help. Lisa Desjardins compares their plans.

Friday, September 16, 2016
(NJ Spotlight)

The hotly debated topic of school funding in New Jersey may have just hit the boiling point, as two opposing approaches to how the state funds its public schools came into sharper focus yesterday.

For starters, Gov. Chris Christie — a longtime antagonist of the state’s public teacher unions — called on the Supreme Court to reopen a landmark education ruling that helped poor communities get more school funding. He also asked that the court give the Department of Education control over laws and bargaining agreements that protect tenured teachers.

Later in the day, Christie’s primary legislative antagonist, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, pushed through a resolution to create a school-funding commission to look at the issue of “fairness” that would keep the existing system but would even out the funding that has changed due to fluctuations in income and population. This commission does not require Christie’s permission or participation.

Monday, September 19, 2016
(The Huffington Post )

The report of the International Commission for Financing Global Education Opportunities (or simply Education Commission) is out - and it breaks important new ground at a critical moment.

The Commission offers sobering diagnosis and bold, concrete recommendations about how global education financing should and can be increased and deployed. This report should be treated as a once-in-a-generation roadmap to set global education on the right path.

While there has been substantial progress over the past 15 years, staggeringly large numbers of children remain out of school or are leaving the classroom after four years without the skills they should have.

Also, the current trajectory of progress isn’t nearly steep enough to secure the new global education goal. At the current pace, the Commission tells us, only four out of 10 children of school age in low- and middle-income countries will gain basic secondary-level skills by 2030. In low-income countries, only one out of 10 will clear that bar.

The Commission members, an assembly of some of the most influential global leaders from the fields of government, business and human development, tell us in unmistakable terms that we must do much more and do it better to educate the world’s children and, more importantly, that we can do it. But only if we choose to.

Monday, September 19, 2016
(The Star)

It is never too early to get children started on learning. Studies show that a child’s physical, intellectual, social and emotional growth develops exponentially in the first six years of her life.

Of course, learning begins from the time a child is born – some people even argue that it starts from the time a child is conceived, which explains the increase in pre-natal classes – and continues for the rest of her life. But, the capacity to learn is the most intense during her preschool or kindergarten years, before she enters primary school. Therefore, it is crucial to give children positive early childhood care and education (ECCE).

The good thing is that children have an innate desire to learn. Babies would place things in their mouth as that is the way they make sense of the world around them. Likewise, a toddler would protest when he is placed in a playpen as he would rather be out to venture and play, she added.

As the late Glenn Doman, an American pioneer in the field of child brain development, wrote in How to Teach Your Baby to Read: “The brain absorbs a tremendous amount of information in the first six years of life – three times more than during the entire lifetime.

Monday, September 19, 2016
(VT Digger)

Some children eligible for the first year of state-funded pre-kindergarten might not be able to start on time because of questions about who is responsible for overseeing security checks on private preschool providers.
Some providers didn’t finish the needed security checks by the start of the school year. Superintendents have been warned by their trade associations not to pay those providers for care given through the new statewide voucher system, despite assurances from the administration that districts are not in legal jeopardy for doing so.

State officials couldn’t say how widespread the problem with security checks may be.

The new pre-K program provides parents with vouchers they can use at any private or public prekindergarten, and the money comes out of the budget in the school district where they reside.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
(EdSource)

The California Department of Education has named 13 educators to a planning team to develop social and emotional learning guidelines for schools across the state, a sign of the growing state and national interest in teaching students the interpersonal skills that contribute to success in college and work.

The planning team marks the start of California’s involvement in a new eight-state project known as the Collaborating States Initiative, launched in July by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, a Chicago-based nonprofit. The two-year initiative is intended to help state educators understand what social and emotional learning — which includes teaching students to listen respectfully, manage stress and set personal goals — looks like in the classroom and how states might map out a grade-level guide to developmentally appropriate skills.

“We are recognizing there is a set of skills that will help support kids in and out of the classroom to be successful,” said Brent Malicote, director of the Standards Support Office in the California Department of Education, who is co-leading the state planning team with Jennifer Peck, executive director of the nonprofit group Partnership for Children and Youth. One starting point, he said, will be to look at how the California Preschool Curriculum Framework laid out a rationale for why social and emotional development is important to learning, including vignettes that illustrate social and emotional learning in action in preschool.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
(The Village Voice)

New York City universal preschool classrooms are more racially segregated than kindergarten classrooms, according to a new report out today from the Century Foundation.

While overall enrollment in the universal pre-k program is diverse, in one-sixth of preschool classrooms in the first year, more than 90 percent of all students came from the same racial or ethnic group, compared to one-eighth of all kindergarten classrooms. Just one in every five preschool classrooms were considered “highly diverse,” where the largest racial or ethnic group constitutes no more than 50 percent of the student roster. Decades of research show that racially integrated classrooms increase educational outcomes for all children.

The report used data from the city Department of Education from the 2014-2015 school year, the program’s first, and defined classrooms with 90 percent or more students from the same racial or ethnic group as “highly homogeneous.” Some studies say that schools risk alienating students if the majority group exceeds 70 percent of the student body.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
(Education News)

Today, hundreds of thousands more US children have access to high-quality early learning programs than when the Obama administration began. It was 2013 when President Obama announced his Preschool for All proposal that would establish a state-federal coalition to provide quality preschool for every four-year-old from low- and moderate-income households.

After the initiative was put in place, many states took action, and now all but four states offer preschool to early learners. In the 2015-2016 academic year, states increased funding for preschool programs by nearly $767 million more than the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Federal investments in preschool have increased by more than $6 billion in early childhood programs from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2016. Funded programs included Head Start, child care subsidies, programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities, and home visitation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
(Time)

"...I do believe there’s another path — one that fuels growth and innovation, and offers the clearest route to individual opportunity and national success. It does not require succumbing to a soulless capitalism that benefits only the few, but rather recognizes that economies are more successful when we close the gap between rich and poor, and growth is broadly based. And that means respecting the rights of workers so they can organize into independent unions and earn a living wage. It means investing in our people — their skills, their education, their capacity to take an idea and turn it into a business. It means strengthening the safety net that protects our people from hardship and allows them to take more risks — to look for a new job, or start a new venture.

These are the policies that I’ve pursued here in the United States, and with clear results. American businesses have created now 15 million new jobs. After the recession, the top one percent of Americans were capturing more than 90 percent of income growth. But today, that’s down to about half. Last year, poverty in this country fell at the fastest rate in nearly 50 years. And with further investment in infrastructure and early childhood education and basic research, I’m confident that such progress will continue..."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
(The Valley Breeze)

PAWTUCKET – Rhode Island Kids Count released its newest publication, Investing in the Future: Financing Early Education & Care in Rhode Island, at Heritage Park YMCA Monday. Officials at the roundtable event emphasized the importance of investing in early childhood education.

“By investing and supporting programs like pre-kindergarten and all-day kindergarten, we’re putting our kids on the path to success,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo. “This kind of solid foundation is what we need in order to reach the goal I announced last week: by 2025, three out of four 3rd-graders will read on grade level. Expanding access to high-quality preschool is essential to achieving that goal"...

...As of the 2016-2017 school year, 39 percent of low-income 4-year-olds, and 20 percent of all 4-year-olds in Rhode Island, are enrolled in a publicly funded preschool.

Rhode Island’s state pre-K program has been recognized as one of only seven in the United States to meet all recommended quality benchmarks, but the state is ranked among the lowest nationally (41st of 43 states) in terms of access for 4-year-olds.

 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
(The Telegraph)

EDWARDSVILLE — Lisa Tate was having fun using a keypad to move a small robot around, but she finally had to give up control.

“It wasn’t all that hard: He wasn’t listening to me,” said Tate, an educator at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Early Head Start Program, located at the school’s East St. Louis Center.

What looked like play was actually part of a workshop on integrating technology into early childhood education.

“It’s exciting and I think the children will master that a whole lot quicker than adults will,” Tate said.

Tate was among about 190 educators and education students participating in an Early Childhood Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) Conference Monday at SIUE.

Thursday, September 22, 2016
(NBC Washington)

A high-ranking official for Prince George's County Public Schools has been forced to resign in connection to the fallout from a federal investigation that reported allegations of abuse in the county's Head Start program, sources tell News4.

Prince George's County Public Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell asked his chief of staff, George Margolies, to step down after emails surfaced showing Margolies arguing with a school board member to keep Head Start issues off the board's agenda, sources said.

In a leaked email, Margolies described the back and forth with the board's vice chair, Carolyn Boston, by saying, "I have scars on my back from yesterday to prove it."

"Today I have asked my colleague and friend George Margolies to step down as my Chief of Staff. I thank him for nearly 40 years of service in public education," Maxwell said in a statement.

Thursday, September 22, 2016
(U.S. News & World Report)

The education landscape has undergone a sea change under the Obama administration, but Education Secretary John King sees a handful of pressing issues he considers unfinished business, with early childhood education being chief among them.

"There is a very large number of students in this country who don't have access to high-quality early learning," King said Wednesday morning at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

"We have a lot of work to do to make sure we have universal access to high-quality early learning, and not just for 4-year-olds, for 3-year-olds, too," he said. "The vision is to make universal pre-K universal for all low- and middle-income families."

Indeed, the U.S. is far behind other industrialized countries in providing access to such programs.

According to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, or the OECD, the U.S. ranked 29th out of 36 countries in enrollment rates for its 3- and 4-year-olds. In the U.S., 42 percent of 3-year-olds and 68 percent of 4-year-olds were enrolled in early childhood or preschool programs in 2014 – far below the OECD average of 71 percent of 3-year-olds and 86 percent of 4-year-olds.

Thursday, September 22, 2016
(Quartz)

Considerable research shows that well-designed early childhood programs can help children, particularly those who are disadvantaged, build social, emotional and academic skills that can help them as students and in life. The US seems to have missed that memo.

In 2014, it had one of the lowest enrollment rates for children in early childhood and pre-primary programs among the world’s richest 35 countries. Only three do worse than the US at offering programs for kids aged three and four: Turkey, Switzerland and Greece. In the US only 42% of three-year olds and 68% of four-year olds were enrolled; among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation the average is is 71% and 86%, respectively.