Advisory: State-Funded Preschool Enrollment Sets New Record Yet Most 3- and 4-Year-Olds are Denied Access to Public Preschool Programs

Preschool remains the most dynamic segment of the education system, with state-funded programs now serving more than a million children. Spending per child is up and so is the quality of state preschool education. But the picture is not all rosy. Twelve states have no state-funded preschools. And four large states—California, Texas, Florida and Ohio—are faltering in their commitment to their youngest school children.

Nationally, half of all 3- and 4-year-olds are denied access to public preschool programs, state or federal. Who suffers most? The children of middle income families whose parents can’t afford expensive private preschool.

NEWS CONFERENCE to release the findings of the 2007 annual State of Preschool report. It ranks all 50 states on quality standards, funding and access to state preschool programs.

W. STEVEN BARNETT, Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. Barnett will discuss the national findings and their implications. He will answer questions about the national findings and on individual state performance.

SARA WATSON, Senior Officer of The Pew Charitable Trusts which has provided funding for the annual survey of state-funded preschool for the past six years.

ABBY BEYTIN, Kindergarten teacher and former pre-K teacher, Timber Grove Elementary School, Owings Mills, MD. National Education Association Board of Directors member.


NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, 529 14th St., NW, Washington, DC, Zenger Room.


The National Institute for Early Education Research (, a unit of the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, supports early childhood education policy by providing objective, nonpartisan information based on research. NIEER is supported through grants from The Pew Charitable Trusts and others.

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