What does this measure?
The number of children, age four or otherwise eligible for kindergarten in the following school year, enrolled in publicly funded prekindergarten programs, expressed as a percentage of all 4-year-olds.
Why is this important?
Early emphasis on reading and social skills prepares children to succeed later in their education.
How is Orange County performing?
In 2014, 36% of 4-year-olds in Orange County were enrolled in publicly funded prekindergarten programs, up from 10% in 2001. In 2014, Orange's rate matched the state (excluding NYC) rate. Orange had the highest level of participation in the region, compared to 24% in Ulster and 11% in Dutchess.
Notes about the data
New York State did not provide comparable data for 2013. Figures reflect children in free prekindergarten programs provided by school districts or community organizations; they do not include children attending private preschool or federally funded Head Start. In 1997, New York State enacted a law providing public support for prekindergarten, effective 1998.