Our Policy Package

High-quality, Accessible Pre-Kindergarten

Done right, all children benefit from early childhood education, regardless of family income or zip code. High-quality pre-k improves children’s school readiness and success: they enter school better prepared and are less likely to repeat a grade or be referred to special education. Long-term benefits include higher high-school graduation rates, lower rates of crime and teen pregnancy, higher lifetime earnings, and better health outcomes.

CityHealth’s assessment of pre-k quality is based on the National Institute of Early Education Research’s 10 research-based quality standards benchmarks, along with an assessment of the level of enrollment in the city’s largest pre-k program. These benchmarks are consistent with what research suggests as minimums for highly effective programs.

Data are based on assessments as of September 30, 2020. For details on quality benchmarks and how data were collected, please download the research protocol at the bottom of this page.

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*Out of the Nation’s 40 Largest Cities

The state of high-quality pre-k in big US cities

Thirty-three out of 40 cities received a medal for high-quality pre-k, including 15 gold, three silver, and 15 bronze.

Measuring big cities’ high-quality pre-k programs by Quality and Enrollment

How did we award high-quality pre-k medals?Bronze medalBronze MedalSilver medalSilver MedalGold medalGold Medal
Meets 8 out 10 quality benchmarks for a Pre-K program (For detailed breakdown, please see the Data Deep Dive section below)Not Required for this MedalRequired for this MedalRequired for this Medal
Over 30% of children enrolled in Pre-K programsRequired for this MedalNot Required for this MedalRequired for this Medal

Data Deep Dive

Data were created and maintained by the Center for Public Health Law Research and the National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER).

High-quality, accessible pre-k medal table

Legend

Anaheim, CA

Anchorage, AK

Arlington, TX

Aurora, CO

Bakersfield, CA

Cincinnati, OH

Cleveland, OH

Colorado Springs, CO

Corpus Christi, TX

Durham, NC

Greensboro, NC

Henderson, NV

Honolulu, HI

Irvine, CA

Lexington, KY

Lincoln, NE

Miami, FL

Minneapolis, MN

New Orleans, LA

Newark, NJ

Oakland, CA

Omaha, NE

Orlando, FL

Pittsburgh, PA

Plano, TX

Raleigh, NC

Riverside, CA

Santa Ana, CA

St. Louis, MO

St. Paul, MN

Stockton, CA

Tampa, FL

Toledo, OH

Tulsa, OK

Wichita, KS