Preprimary education enrollment

Question:
What percentage of children are enrolled in preprimary education?

Response:
Preprimary programs are groups or classes that are organized to provide educational experiences for children and include kindergarten, preschool, and nursery school programs. From 1990 to 2013, the percentage of 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in preprimary programs increased from 59 to 65 percent, with all of the growth occurring between 1990 and 2000.

The percentages of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preprimary programs in 2013 (42 and 68 percent, respectively) were higher than the percentages enrolled in 1990 (33 and 56 percent, respectively) but not measurably different from the percentages enrolled in 2000 or 2012. In contrast, the percentage of 5-year-olds enrolled in preprimary programs declined from 89 percent in 1990 to 84 percent in 2013. The percentage of 5-year-olds enrolled in preprimary programs in 2013 was not measurably different from the percentage enrolled in 2012 (84 and 85 percent, respectively).

The percentage of 3- to 5-year-olds in preprimary programs who attended full-day programs increased from 39 percent in 1990 to 60 percent in 2013. This increase in the full-day enrollment rate was observed for 3- to 4-year-olds as well as 5-year-olds. More recently, the full-day enrollment rate was higher in 2013 (73 percent) than in 2000 (59 percent) for 5-year-olds, but the rate did not change measurably for 3- to 4-year-olds. Enrollment rates in full-day preprimary programs increased more rapidly between 1990 and 2013 for 5-year-old children than for 3- to 4-year-old children. In 1990, the percentage of full-day enrollment for 5-year‑olds (42 percent) was 7 percentage points higher than the percentage of full-day enrollment for 3- to 4-year-olds (35 percent). By 2013, the percentage of full-day enrollment for 5-year-olds (73 percent) was 22 percentage points higher than the percentage of full-day enrollment for 3- to 4-year-olds (51 percent).


Percentage of 3- to 4-year-old children and 5-year-old children in preprimary programs attending full-day programs: 1990 through 2013

The data in this figure is described in the surrounding text.

NOTE: Preprimary programs are groups or classes that are organized to provide educational experiences for children and include kindergarten, preschool,and nursery school programs. Enrollment data for 5-year-olds include only those students in preprimary programs and do not include those enrolled in primary programs. Beginning in 1994, new procedures were used in the Current Population Survey to collect preprimary enrollment data. As a result, pre-1994 data may not be comparable to data from 1994 or later. Data are based on sample surveys of the civilian noninstitutional population.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). The Condition of Education 2015 (NCES 2015-144), Preprimary Enrollment.

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