*We have an updated version of this page, please refer to our Early Care and Education Key Issue page.

Forty-four states, plus the District of Columbia, fund pre-K programs, which are often seen as critical to early childhood development. Research shows short- and long-term benefits, from academic gains to social and emotional development, for students who enroll in high quality pre-K. The resources on this page cover outcomes, funding models and policy trends. 

data on the ROI per dollar spent on pre-k


Policy Reports

Relevant context and state policy examples concerning pre-K.

Blog Posts

Legislative trends and other news with implications for pre-K.

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Attendance declines and interruptions to instruction and care have led to a rise in behavioral issues and growing gaps in literacy and math for young children. Given these challenges, the transition into kindergarten has come into focus as a critical junction where education systems can support early learners by focusing on the whole child and taking a more comprehensive approach.

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Policies that expand access to high-quality medical care and early childhood programs provide important benefits to children and families, such as improved literacy and numeracy skills and executive function at kindergarten entry and beyond.

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Young children with disabilities and developmental delays experienced unique hardships during the pandemic, including a significant decline in access to early childhood special education services (ECSE).

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State Information Requests

Brief issue scans, typically provided within 48 hours, that provide top-level information on pre-K. 

Overview of State Pre-K Programs
Trends in Pre-K Policies, Costs and Benefits
Pre-K Effectiveness
States With Universal Pre-K
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View all available pre-K resources:

Explore our State Education Policy Tracking resource:

Browse pending legislation on our State Education Policy Watchlist: