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Preprimary education enrollment

What percentage of children are enrolled in preprimary education?


Preprimary programs are groups or classes that are organized to provide educational experiences for children, including kindergarten and preschool programs.1 Child care programs that are not primarily designed to provide educational experiences, such as daycare programs, are not included in preprimary programs.

In 2016, some 42 percent of 3-year-olds, 66 percent of 4-year-olds, and 86 percent of 5-year-olds were enrolled in preprimary programs, which were not measurably different from the percentages enrolled in 2000. In 2016, the percentage of children enrolled in preprimary programs was higher for 5-year-olds than for 4-year-olds, and higher for 4-year-olds than for 3-year-olds.

Among 3- to 5-year-olds who were enrolled in preschool programs in 2016, some 54 percent attended full-day programs, which was higher than the percentage who attended full-day programs in 2000 (47 percent). Among 3- to 5-year-olds attending kindergarten, the percentage attending full-day programs increased from 60 percent in 2000 to 81 percent in 2016. In every year from 2000 to 2016, the percentage of 3- to 5-year-old kindergarten students enrolled in full-day programs was higher than the percentage of 3- to 5-year-old preschool students enrolled in full-day programs.

Percentage of 3- to 5-year-old children in preprimary programs attending full-day programs, by program type: 2000 through 2016

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. Data are based on sample surveys of the civilian noninstitutional population.

1 Preschool programs are also known as nursery school programs.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). The Condition of Education 2018 (NCES 2018-144), Preschool and Kindergarten Enrollment.

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