The National Institute for Early Education Research has released the 2011 State of Preschool: State Preschool Yearbook to highlight trends in state-run programs serving children ages 3 and 4. According to the report, there are 51 state-funded preschool programs in 39 states, which serve 1.3 million children including, 430,000 three and four year olds with disabilities.
Other Findings Include:
- Across the nation, 42% of 4-year-olds and 15% of 3-year-olds were enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs when children enrolled in IDEA’s preschool program and those enrolled in Head Start are considered;
- Florida has the highest percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state pre-K though its funding per child raking is among the lowest of all states, Oklahoma and Vermont follow in having the highest enrollment percentages;
- Few states served substantial numbers of children at age 3, however, California, Illinois, New Jersey, and Vermont ranked at the top of states serving 3-year-olds;
- Overall pre-K enrollment for 3-and 4-year-olds decreased in 12 states from the previous year, including Arizona which eliminated its program.
- 11 states do not fund any type of public preschool education;
- Nineteen states met eight or more of the quality benchmarks set forth in the Yearbook (i.e. teacher has a BA, specialized training in early childhood, at least 15 hours of in-service training, early learning standards, class size of 20 or lower, etc.)
State Highlights of Pre-K Opportunities for Children with Disabilities Include:
- Delaware reserves 10% of its Early Childhood Assistance Program enrollment for children with disabilities;
- Kentucky’s preschool program serves 3-4 year olds with disabilities. In 2010 – 2011 11,447 children with disabilities were served;
- Since 1985, Massachusetts has had an inclusion program now offered in 96 districts for preschool children with and without disabilities;
- New York serves 45,605 children with disabilities in their program;
- Kentucky, Oklahoma, and West Virginia served all of their 3 and/or 4 year olds with disabilities in their state preschool programs.
CEC remains very concerned that the federal government’s commitment to funding IDEA’s preschool program (Part B sec. 619) has dwindled dramatically. Over the last two decades, the enrollment of preschool children with disabilities receiving services provided by IDEA has grown by over 470,000 or over 60%, while federal funding has only increased by 25%, without taking into account inflation. Moreover, in 1992, the federal share was providing $803/per child whereas in 2010 it was only $509/per child. For more CEC information on IDEA Part B sec. 619, click here.