Pre-K Education

Research shows that attending high-quality pre-kindergarten has a lasting impact on a child’s success both in school and in life. Leading economists find that investing dollars in high-quality pre-k yields significant returns. Armed with this growing body of evidence, many states have increased funding for pre-kindergarten in recent years, but there is more work to be done. More than 75 percent of the nation’s four-year-olds and an even larger percentage of 3-year-olds still have no access to state-funded pre-k programs.

Our projects — rigorous, policy-focused and research-based — document and promote the value of high-quality pre-k for all children. While we work with a variety of groups to advance the availability and quality of public pre-k programs, two major organizations operate at the core of our initiative:

  • Pre-K Now, a campaign of the Pew Center on the States, collaborates with advocates and policy makers across the country to lead a movement for high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds.  In targeted states and at the federal level, Pre-K Now provides strategic advice, technical assistance and resources to promote increased funding and quality for state pre-k programs.
  • The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) conducts objective, nonpartisan research on early childhood education, including 50-state assessments of pre-k enrollment and quality standards and evaluations of state-funded pre-k programs.  Established at Rutgers University's Graduate School of Education with Pew support, NIEER’s research gives policymakers reliable information on the benefits of quality pre-k programs and the policies needed to ensure that these programs produce the promised results.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, view the materials below and visit the Pre-K Now website or the campaign page in the Pew Center on the States' archive, or visit the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) website.

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