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 the region performing?
In 2014, 26% of the Mid-Hudson Valley region's 4-year-olds were enrolled in publicly funded prekindergarten programs, up 18 percentage points from 2001, but below the 36% rate for the state (excluding NYC). Participation in the region and state has been growing - only 8% of the region's 4-year-olds were in publicly funded prekindergarten in 2001. Participation was highest in Orange County, with 36% of 4-year-olds enrolled, followed by Ulster with 24% and Dutchess with 11%.
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.