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Idea of the Day: Federal Investment Can Expand Access to Preschool Programs

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Most states are expanding access to state-funded preschool, but many of these programs developed over the past few years have yet to reach every child. In Mississippi, for example, a bill establishing its first state-funded preschool program is on its way to the governor’s office and awaits his signature. The bill would enable Mississippi to join 39 other states that have established state-funded preschool programs. The new $3 million program, however, will only serve 1,325 4-year-old children in its first year—a mere fraction of the almost 90,000 children in Mississippi preschools.*

As in most states, the Mississippi program will not be available to 3-year-olds. This is why CAP proposed a plan to expand state preschool programs with support from the federal government to all 3- and 4-year-olds. The president outlined his own proposal to expand preschool access, which would be paid for by increasing the taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

States are leading the charge to expand access to preschool, but a significant federal investment will radically increase the reach and quality of these programs.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here