N.H. Doesn't Fund Preschool, But Tracks Slightly Ahead In Attendance

May 20, 2015

Research shows students who attend preschool are more likely to have stability and success as they go through school and through life, yet New Hampshire is behind the national curve when it comes to investing in these programs.

The National Institute for Early Education Research has released its annual report, The State of Preschool, which profiles state-funded programs and tracks national trends around preschool quality and access.

So how does New Hampshire stack up to other states when it comes to preschool?

In terms of funding, it doesn't.

New Hampshire is one of ten states that has no state-funded preschool program, and therefore isn't part of the metrics tracked, including goals set for preschool quality standards, such as credentialing classroom staff.

States with no state-funded preschool programs, via the NIEER report, 'The State of Preschool: 2014.'

As far as the national outlook, it seems there's some effort being made to improve the quality of preschool programs around the country. The NIEER reports spending among the forty states (plus D.C.) that fund preschool programs increased by $116 million in 2014, about one percent over the previous year.

Still, the numbers are far from sunny when it comes preschool attendance, especially for poor kids. 

Better Than Many, But Far From Perfect

When it comes to attendance, New Hampshire's numbers are stronger than most states, but fall well short of the universal preschool some are pushing for.

According to Kids Count and U.S. Census data, New Hampshire ranks sixth in the overall in the number of three and four year-olds attending preschool, although just 54% of kids attended in the period reported, from 2011-2013. The national rate was 46% attendance in the same period.

Among the state's poorest preschool-age kids - those at 200% of the poverty level or below - the state ranks eighth, with 43% attending, compared to the national rate of 37%.

Related:

Want to see how New Hampshire ranks against our neighbors? Click through the map below to compare the rate of preschool non-attendance among kids three and four years old.

And how is the state doing when it comes to preschool non-attendance for the poorest kids? Click through the map to compare.