Little to Nothing: A map of public preschool access and quality

The National Institute for Early Education Research, a think tank, gathers data on the percentage of children being served by public preschool programs in the U.S. each year. For the first time in 2016, they added a new quality scan that takes into account how much money is spent per child, the amount of support for Dual Language Learners and other more detailed quality information than the Institute has previously gathered. These maps provide a visual look at how access and quality is distributed across the country, according to that data.

Map notes

* CT, IA, KS, MA, NJ, PA and SC have two or more state programs. The average of the scores is displayed here.
** CT, MN, PA, SC, TN and WI have at least one program that did not break down total enrollment figures into specific numbers of 3- and 4-year-olds served. As a result, enrollment by single year of age was estimated.
+ DC has joined a multi-state consortium (PARCC) to design formative assessments for grades Pre-K-3. By the fall of 2016, the District will be equipped for a full-scale implementation of these assessments, though they are currently not in effect.
++ IN served less than 1% of 4-year-olds so they were not included in NIEER's Access assesement. We have given them a low-access score but details on the state will not appear in the NIEER report on access.
+++ New quality data were not available for Alaska, but the existing program is generally considered high quality, according to NIEER.

About the data

The Hechinger Report worked with National Institute for Early Education (NIEER) to visualize this preschool access and quality data. The access data comes from NIEER's State of Preschool 2015 report. The quality data comes from the NIEER's Implementing 15 Essential Elements for High Quality: A state and Local Policy Scan.

There were a few caveats with the data that we needed to address in order to visualize this data. They are listed below:

Map by Alexandra Kanik