State of Preschool 2009

State of Preschool 2009

Young children across the country are feeling the impact of the recession as states cut back on early education programs, according to a new report from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the report, The State of Preschool 2009 (260 pages, PDF), found that overall enrollment in preschool programs around the country increased by 81,000 students, while total funding for the programs increased by $446 million. However, the average amount states spent on preschool programs per child, when adjusted for inflation, declined from $4,179 in 2008 to $4,143 in 2009, ending an upward trend. Indeed, real spending per child declined in twenty-four states, while nine states saw declines in enrollment, six had programs that met fewer than half of the benchmarks for quality standards, and twelve did not provide state-funded preschool programs at all.