The U.S. Department of Education (ED) released a new report outlining the unmet need for high-quality early learning programs in America.
Across the nation, 59 percent of 4-year olds – or six out of every 10 children – are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs through state preschool, Head Start, and special education preschool services. Even fewer are enrolled in the highest-quality programs.
For Latino children, the unmet need is especially great. While Latinos are the fastest growing and largest minority group in the United States, making up a quarter of 3- and 4-year-olds, Latinos demonstrate the lowest preschool participation rates of any major ethnicity or race. The participation rate for Latinos is 40 percent, compared to 50 percent for African-American children, and 53 percent for white children. In addition, children from low-income families are less likely to be enrolled in preschool than their more affluent peers – 41 percent compared to 61 percent.
Read more in the report, A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America.