High-quality early childhood education is essential to student success, yet compared to other countries around the world, the United States lags far behind on preschool. The United States enrolls less than 70 percent of 4-year-olds in preschool, trailing more than two dozen countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD. We also lag behind in 3-year-old preschool participation, the typical age children begin early childhood programs, our teacher-to-child ratios, and our investment in early childhood. If we are to stay competitive in the global economy, we need to ensure all our children are ready for school.
The president has proposed a plan to significantly expand access to preschool. Now is the time to act.
Juliana Herman is a Policy Analyst with the Education Policy team at the Center for American Progress. Sasha Post is Special Advisor to CAP President and CEO Neera Tanden. Scott O’Halloran was an intern with the Education team at the Center.