The 2013 Indiana General Assembly has state funding of prekindergarten programs on its agenda with a number of related bills presently under consideration. The benefits of these programs have been known for a long time, and were highlighted in a 2006 CEEP Education Policy Brief. Yet, Indiana is one of only 11 states that do not provide public funding for pre-K programs; and 60% of Indiana’s three- and four-year-old children are not provided any enhanced age-appropriate experiences to improve school readiness.
This CEEP Policy Brief revisits the evidence of the benefits and impact of prekindergarten programs, and provides updated information on policy and program developments around the United States. It examines the design of high-quality prekindergarten programs; the state’s role in oversight and financial support; and costs of targeted, high-quality programs. The brief also includes the perspectives of leaders of three highly regarded business, school and non-profit organizations, and their advocacy for early childhood education. Conclusions and recommendations are included at the end of the brief.