Current state of North Carolina’s pre-kindergarten program
- NC Pre-K (formerly More at Four) “enhances school readiness for eligible four-year-olds.”
- To qualify, children must come from a family whose gross income is at or below 75% of the State median income level. Other non-income based factors to qualify: limited English proficiency, chronic health condition, developmental/educational need.
- Currently, 67,000 children are eligible for NC Pre-K slots; 40,000 children remain on a waiting list.
- State spending per child in 2002: $7,679 (highest); spending per child in 2013: $4,690.
- North Carolina’s pre-K program is one of only five in the nation to meet the benchmarks for a quality, cost-effective program.
- More pre-K educators hold Bachelor’s degrees and appropriate licenses than in previous years.
Pre-K is a crucial stage to a child’s development
- Children who attend preschool gain confidence by learning the expectations and routines of school through close communication with other children.
- Pre-K is a place where children learn to socialize, make decisions, interact with others, and negotiate—all of which are important to child development.
Children who attend Pre-K programs are more self-sufficient in the future
- Children who went to preschool were consistently employed, more likely to have full time jobs, less likely to rely on public assistance, resulting in overall positive future outcomes.
- Children who attend preschool are more likely to have a savings account, and own a house and a car.
Attending Pre-K decreases both achievement and skill gaps
- 123 studies across four decades of early education research found that by third grade, one-third of the achievement gap can be closed by early education.
- Children who attended pre-K usually have higher grade point average, more likely to graduate high school and college.
- Fundamental skills like eye contact, self-confidence, work efficiency, attention span, and control of temper are developed during the earliest stages of childhood are enriched in Pre-K
- Latino children as dual language learners greatly benefitted from NC Pre-K, making gains in the program at a greater rate than other students.
Pre-K decreases delinquency
- Children who attended pre-school are less likely to develop alcohol or drug problems, commit a felony, and go to prison. They are half as likely to be arrested.
Early education saves the State money in the future
- Every $1 invested in preschool saves taxpayers up to $13 in future costs in incarceration, education, tax collections increases, and welfare.
- Pre-K offers a better return on investment than the stock market. The annual rate of return for preschool spending is between 7-10%; stocks have an average return of 5.8% per year.
- Investment in pre-K pays off by reducing the number of children placed into special education classrooms in the third grade by 39%; special education costs nearly twice as much as regular classroom education.
- 2013 Kids Count Policy Report: The First Eight Years – Giving Kids A Foundation For Lifetime Success
(The Annie E. Casey Foundation)
- Carolina Abecedarian Project
- Children’s Growth and Classroom Experiences in Georgia’s Pre-K Program: Findings from the 2011-2012 Evaluation Study
- Children’s Outcomes and the Program Quality in the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program 2012-2013 Statewide Evaluation
- The Curious Case of Oklahoma : A Historical Analysis Of The Passage Of Universal Pre-Kindergarten Legislation In Oklahoma
- The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project
- Impact of NC’s Early Childhood Initiatives on Special Education Placements in Third Grade, Clara G Muschkin, Helen F. Ladd and Kenneth A. Dodge, Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Feb. 2015.
- Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K
Lifetime Effects: The HighScope Perry Preschool Study Through Age 40 (2005)
- NC Pre-K Prekindergarten Program
- Quality and Characteristics of the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program: 2011-2012 Statewide Evaluation. Executive Summary
- Rutgers University’s National Institute for Early Education Research
- The Pew Charitable Trusts: Pre-K Education
- Pre-Kindergarten: Research-Based Recommendations for Developing Standards and Factors Contributing to School Readiness Gaps. Information Capsule. Volume 1201
- Ready Or Not: Associations Between Participation In Subsidized Child Care Arrangements, PreKindergarten, And Head Start And Children’s School Readiness
Revised February 17, 2015