2000 State-by-State Census Data on Early Education and Care Enrollment
|Children ages 3 and 4||7,701,024||100.0%|
|Enrolled in school||3,795,049||49.3%|
The U.S. Census Bureau released preliminary data on early education and care enrollment taken during the 2000 census. It shows 49.3% of America's 3- and 4-year olds were "enrolled in school" in the year 2000. This is similar to the finding of the National Household Education Survey (NHES) that 49.6% of 3- and 4-year olds were in nursery school programs in 1999. Both Census and NHES are useful sources of information, but only the Census allows for state-by-state comparisons.
Note that the Census does not report the percentage of children in any type of classroom, but only in classrooms considered to be "school." Some idea of how much difference this makes can be obtained from the 1999 NHES where both types of information are available. In the NHES, parents reported 57% of 3- and 4-year-olds to be in a classroom when childcare centers are included, compared to 49.6% in nursery school and preschool. (see note)
All States by Rank
Source: Analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census, Summary File 3, Table PCT23, and the National Center for Education Statistics (U.S. Department of Education) 1999 National Household Education Survey.
Note: The Census Bureau asks, "At any time since February 1, 2000 has this person attended regular school or college," inclusive of nursery school, preschool, kindergarten and possibly higher grades. A very small number of 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in Kindergarten or higher. Private homes in which custodial care is provided are not considered nursery schools. Children enrolled in Head Start programs or similar programs sponsored by local agencies to provide preschool education to young children are counted under nursery school. The terms "nursery school or preschool" are defined as a group or class that is organized to provide educational experiences for children during the year or years preceding kindergarten. School includes childcare programs where "instruction" is an important and integral phase of the program.