InClass

With 50 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds around the nation attending preschool, we’re lagging — here’s why that’s a problem. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 37 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds in Arizona are enrolled in preschool. In stark contrast, the last time the national average was 37 per

Jan 25, 2017

With 50 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds around the nation attending preschool, we’re lagging — here’s why that’s a problem.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 37 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds in Arizona are enrolled in preschool. In stark contrast, the last time the national average was 37 percent was back in 1993.

But does this really matter? Research says “yes.”

Benefit #1: Preschool is a Worthwhile Investment

There’s substantial evidence that preschool provides serious financial returns. In fact, a preschool program provides about a 13-percent return on investment when accounting for decreased healthcare costs, reduced criminal behavior, more education, and greater earnings.

Benefit #2: Preschool Improves Outcomes for All Children


Preschool offers benefits to both middle-income and low-income children. Low-income children can actually benefit even more than those in the middle-class. Likewise, children with special needs show academic improvements equal to typically developing children.

In Arizona, a state with a large Spanish-speaking population, it’s important to note that preschool assists dual-language learners as much as — and sometimes more than — native speaking students.

Benefit #3: Early Childhood Education Increases Rates of Student Learning

Some parents believe they can forgo preschool. However, high-quality preschool programs add between one-third to a full year of additional learning when compared to children not in a program.

Preschool is important, spread the word! Learn to raise your teacher voice in support of policy and education with these tips.

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