Research Report

COVID-Inspired Policy Adaptations in State Pre-K Programs

by Karin Garver

State preschool enrollment substantially declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 298,000 fewer children served in 2020-21 than 2019-20. But even for the 1.3 million children who did attend state-funded preschool in 2020-21, in many states preschool program policies looked very different before and after the COVID-19 pandemic began. This data snapshot explores state preschool policy adaptations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as reported by states in the 2021 State of Preschool Yearbook.

The Authors

Karin Garver is an Early Childhood Education Policy Specialist at NIEER. Her research interests are in national and state early education policy trends, inclusive opportunities for preschool children with disabilities, data systems, systems integration, and public program finance.