The State of Preschool 2018 annual report finds more children attending state-funded preschool programs across the US but funding failing to keep pace, resulting in low compensation for preschool teachers that too often undermines classroom quality.

“We are disappointed by the lack of progress and concerned about how many children miss out on quality early learning experiences that can make a lifelong difference,” said NIEER Founder and Senior Co-Director Steven Barnett, Ph.D. “Some states are moving in the right direction, but many are standing still.”

The NIEER State of Preschool yearbook is the only national report on state-funded preschool programs. This year’s report includes a special section highlighting policies affecting state preschool teachers, as well as changes since 2002, when NIEER began tracking state preschool.

This yearbook, based on 2017-2018 academic year data, shows just a third of 4-year-olds and 5.5 percent of 3-year-olds enrolled in public preschool programs—virtually no change in years. At this pace, it would take states nearly 20 years to enroll even half of all 4-year-olds and it would take nearly a century to reach the 50% mark for 3-year-olds.

State spending per child also has decreased, when adjusted for inflation; and most states fail to pay pre-K teachers comparably to K-3 teachers.

Future progress may be hampered by the sun-setting of federal Preschool Development Grants this year, as only half of states have made plans to maintain enrollment supported by the federal grant.

Yearbook Contents

The links below open PDF documents. For assistance with PDFs, see the instructions for viewing the Yearbook PDF.

State Profiles

Click a state below to view its profile as a PDF document.

US Map

Montana North Dakota Minnesota Washington Oregon California Nevada Idaho Utah Arizona New Mexico Colorado Wyoming South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Tennessee Mississippi Alabama Florida Michigan Indiana Ohio Kentucky Georgia South Carolina North Carolina New York Virginia Pennsylvania West Virginia Maine Maryland District of Columbia Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Massachusetts Rhode Island Vermont New Hampshire_2015 Alaska Hawai'i

American Samoa



Profile News Release

Northern Mariana Islands




Puerto Rico


Virgin Islands



Suggested Citation: Friedman-Krauss, A. H., Barnett, W. S., Garver, K. A., Hodges, K. S., Weisenfeld, G. G. & DiCrecchio, N. (2019). The State of Preschool 2018: State Preschool Yearbook. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research.