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Kid count survey shows Idaho has low percentage of kids in preschool


June 23, 2016
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Misty Inglet
Local News 8

According to a 2016 kid count study by Idaho Voices for Children, 69 percent of young children in Idaho are not enrolled in early education programs. The survey shows 31 percent of kids ages 3 through 4 are not in any type of preschool.

Idaho STARS and the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District said kids who don’t go to preschool could be at a disadvantage when entering elementary school.

“The range when they come to us in that kindergarten is from students who cannot recognize one letter to students who know all of their letters and all of their sounds and they’re reading and so that gap is so wide,” said Lori Craney, elementary education director for School District 25.

“They’re not being prepared for elementary school,” said Laura Thomas, an education consultant at Idaho STARS. “There’s a huge discrepancy of children entering kindergarten or first grade.”

“Just that exposure to learning, just that exposure to all that is going to be happening when kids get to school is really important in preschool,” Craney said.