Connecticut and New Jersey Make the Grade

Posted July 21, 2015, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Blog connecticutandnewjerseymakethegrade 2015

It’s a fact: High-qual­i­ty prekinder­garten pro­grams play a crit­i­cal role in prepar­ing chil­dren for aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess. They’re also a vital com­po­nent of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s two-gen­er­a­tion approach (help kids; help their par­ents) aimed at pro­mot­ing fam­i­ly eco­nom­ic security. 

The brain sci­ence tells us that the ear­li­er we can be sup­port­ive of chil­dren and fam­i­lies, the bet­ter,” says Pol­i­cy Ana­lyst Eliz­a­beth Fras­er from the Con­necti­cut Asso­ci­a­tion for Human Ser­vices, a KIDS COUNT orga­ni­za­tion. High-qual­i­ty preschool pro­grams are the most cost effec­tive way to ensure that we are get­ting chil­dren what they need to suc­ceed and be healthy while sup­port­ing work­ing families.”

This ear­ly edu­ca­tion invest­ment is a clear pri­or­i­ty for Con­necti­cut and New Jer­sey, who have the high­est per­cent­age of preschool­ers enrolled in pre-kinder­garten pro­grams, accord­ing to the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book

We have rede­fined the ear­ly edu­ca­tion sys­tem so that it no longer starts at kinder­garten, but preschool,” says Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Cecil­ia Zalkind of the Advo­cates for Chil­dren of New Jer­sey, a KIDS COUNT organization 

Both states also report aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment lev­els in read­ing and math that exceed the nation­al average. 

Here’s a clos­er look at the chart-top­ping duo’s KIDS COUNT Data Book stats: 

The list’s low­est ranks — in terms of preschool par­tic­i­pa­tion rates — belong to Neva­da and Ida­ho, where just over 30% of 3- and 4‑year-olds attend pre-kinder­garten in each state. 

The 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book shares the per­cent­age of preschool-age chil­dren not attend­ing pre-kinder­garten in each state as well as the per­cent­age of stu­dents not pro­fi­cient in read­ing and math.

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