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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.

For more on this topic, please see:

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

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


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

For more from the same column, click here