Many Large City Pre-K Programs Fail to Meet Quality Benchmarks, Study Finds

By Marva Hinton, Education Week

More large cities are taking the lead when it comes to providing pre-K programs, but a new study finds that less than half of the 40 largest cities in the country meet a research organization's quality benchmarks for these programs. And, only 60 percent offer a pre-K program that reaches more than 30 percent of the 4-year-old population.

The "Pre-K in American Cities" study was conducted by CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente that provides city leaders with policy solutions to improve health, and the National Institute for Early Education Research, or NIEER, which is based at Rutgers University.

"Everyone gets how important pre-K is as that critical building block for setting up kids to be successful in life," said Shelley Hearne, the president of CityHealth. "It's an important and expensive investment, and it's an investment that has an extraordinary return on education outcomes, health outcomes, [and] society benefits."

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