What does this measure?
The number of children enrolled in public or private prekindergarten education programs, expressed as a percentage of all children age 4.
Why is this important?
Early emphasis on reading and social skills prepares children to succeed later in their education.
How is our region doing?
In 2018, 53% of MetroWest 4-year olds were enrolled in a public or private prekindergarten education program, similar to the state rate. Both the region and state have seen a steady increase in public prekindergarten participation since 2002, from 25% to 40% at the regional level, and from 27% to 42% at the state level. Over that time, participation in private prekindergarten programs increased slightly, from 12% to 13% in MetroWest and 11% to 12% at the state level. Overall in the region in 2018, there were about 13,900 children enrolled in public prekindergarten programs and about 4,600 in private programs.
Within the region, the share of 4-year-olds enrolled in public prekindergarten was highest in Worcester County, at 49%, compared to 37% in Middlesex and 35% in Norfolk. Private prekindergarten was more prevalent in Middlesex (15%) and Norfolk (14%) than in Worcester (9%).
Notes about the data
Enrollment is based on counts made on Oct. 1 of each year.
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