Data Explorer

Take a closer look at the data behind the State of Preschool Yearbook.

This document is best viewed on a desktop device.

We notice that you appear to be on a mobile device. Certain aspects of this experience may not render correctly; we recommend using a desktop computer to explore this report.

NIEER Data Sets

Our preconfigured data sets are organized by topic and designed to make data from NIEER’s State of Preschool reports more easily accessible and usable for your specific purposes. For example, data sets can be used to explore trends over time in your state or compare states at one point in time. Each file includes the Year, State, Program Name (when applicable), and a set of variables. National data are included when applicable. Data sets will be updated annually and new data sets will be added. Please cite as “National Institute for Early Education Research (2023). Preconfigured NIEER Data Sets.”

State Preschool Spending

This data set includes data on State and All-Reported Spending on state-funded preschool and spending per child between 2002 and 2023. All data are adjusted for inflation and presented in 2023 dollars. Data file updated: 4/18/2024

State Preschool Enrollment

This data set includes information on enrollment in state-funded preschool between 2002 and 2023. It includes the total number of children enrolled and the number and percent of state-population of 3- and 4-year-olds. Data file updated: 4/18/2024

State Preschool Quality Standards Met

This data set includes information on whether or not each state-funded preschool program met each of NIEER’s Quality Standards Benchmarks between 2002 and 2023. Data file updated: 4/18/2024

Head Start and Special Education Enrollment

This data set includes information on enrollment (number and percent of state population) in Head Start for 3- and 4-year-olds between 2002 and 2023. It also includes information on 3- and 4-year-olds receiving early childhood special education services. Data file updated: 4/18/2024

  • First, select up to four states that you would like to compare. One “state” can include the National total/average. Next, select which data category you would like to see, for example, Enrollment, Funding, Personnel, Operating Schedule, etc. Within a data category, you then select up to three specific indicators. For example, if you chose the enrollment category, you could select indicators for “Toal State Pre-K Enrollment”, “Percentage of 4-year-olds Enrolled in State Pre-K” and “Number of 4-Year-olds Enrolled in State Pre-K”. Lastly, select up to five years for which you want to see the data. The earliest year of data is 2002 which corresponds to the 2001-2002 school year. Then click submit!

    You can view the data in a table or in a chart by selecting “Table” or “Chart”. Table is the default view but you can toggle between the two. The Chart option is only available for numeric data like the indicators found in the “Enrollment” and “Funding” categories.

    Some states have more than one state-funded preschool program. For those states, data can be viewed at the state or program level. To see whether a state has multiple programs, select “Yes” to “Show applicable data broken down by program”. You can toggle back to state level data by selecting “No”.

  • The data behind the tables and charts can be downloaded by clicking “Download CSV”. This will be at the state or program level depending on what is currently selected. The bar graphs can be saved by clicking on the camera icon that appears to the top right when you hover the mouse over the chart. It will save as a .png file.

  • Many states have more than one state funded preschool program. When this happens, there are data specific to each program in the state, data specific to the state, and data that can be reported at both the state and program level. For example, preschool enrollment data is reported at both the program and state level but policies, like class size, are specific to a program.

    Whether or not there is program level data may change from year to year as the specific state-funded preschool programs change each year. For example, during the first year of the State of Preschool Yearbook, Connecticut had only one state-funded preschool program but now it has three.

  • There are a few reasons why this might happen: (1) The data are not available at the state or national level but only the program level; (2) The data were not collected for that year; (3) The state preschool program did not exist in the year selected; (4) The data have not been added to the data explorer.

  • There are two main reasons. Either the data point was not collected for that specific year, or the data have not been added to the Data Explorer yet. We are continuing to build the data explorer and more data will be added over time.

  • If you click on one state/program in the legend, only that state will be displayed. You can also click on each state/program to add/remove them from the bar graph. When you hover the mouse over a bar, the value is displayed.

  • You can edit your initial selections at the top of the page or you can start over. If you want to see data for more than 4 states and 5 years, please go to the “Download Data Sets” tab to download a full data set for specific data categories that will contain all years and states.

  • All data files are Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) files. They can be easily opened with Microsoft Excel or the statistical software of your choosing.

  • Each data file includes information for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and national totals (when applicable) for all years since the 2001-2002 school year on one category of data. Each file contains multiple variables.

  • They are in the long format. In Excel, you can add filters to look at only one year, one state, or one variable at a time. Statistical software can be used similarly and to convert to a wide format.

  • More data files will be added here. You may be able to access the data by creating a custom report. Otherwise, all data are available in the State of Preschool pdf files on You can also email with specific questions about data.

  • Data from “Create Custom Reports” should be cited as: National Institute for Early Education Research (2023). NIEER interactive data explorer. Downloaded data sets should be cited as: National Institute for Early Education Research (2023). Preconfigured NIEER Data Sets.

  • Allison Friedman-Krauss at or