NIEER Pre-K Data Snapshot: State Policies Supporting Comprehensive Preschool Services

GG Weisenfeld Ed.D. and Nicole DiCrecchio Ed.D.

Third in a series of policy briefs addressing specific topics based on State of Preschool yearbook data.

For the past 15 years, NIEER has been collecting information on what comprehensive services state-funded preschool programs have provided to children and families. Comprehensive services encompass health and nutrition, such as providing a daily meal, participation in transition to kindergarten activities, and referrals for those identified as needing additional services.

In addition to offering comprehensive services to children, some programs assist parents in obtaining education services or job training. Preschool programs might also offer opportunities for families to learn about their children in group sessions, such as during trainings or parent support meetings, or on an individual basis through parent conferences and/or home visits. Research has shown that children’s overall well-being and success in school involves not only their cognitive development, but also their physical and social/emotional health.

Most state-funded preschool programs provide additional support services, according to The State of Preschool 2017. Eighty-seven percent, or 53 out of 61 programs in 41 states, DC and Guam, were required to provide comprehensive services to either families or children attending the program. The
most common types of support are parent involvement activities (offered by 51 pre-K programs) and parent conferences and/or home visits (49 programs).

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