Shows Voters Want States to Fund Preschool
governments should provide enough funding so that every American
family can afford to send its three and four year-old children
to a high-quality preschool education program. That’s
what 87 percent of respondents said to in a national survey
of 3,230 voters just released by the National Institute for
Early Education Research (NIERR), a newly-formed institute at
poll shows remarkable support for voluntary, universally available
pre-kindergarten, according to NIERR Director Steve Barnett.
“Voters across all age groups,” said Barnett, “agree
in two points: early education should be of high quality and
they should be available and affordable to all parents.”
respondents say the biggest obstacle parents face in finding
a good early education program is that many are too expensive
(42 percent). They also say there’s not enough information
on finding programs, there aren’t enough good programs,
and programs aren’t close to home or work.
voters surveyed think high-quality programs should be free to
all children, regardless of family income. While half say these
programs should be funded from the existing state budget, one-third
believe early education is so important they would be willing
to pay higher state taxes to fund universal access to quality
poll also shows that voters believe early education is important
for a variety of reasons. 76 percent are convinced that participants
are more self-confident and better adjusted; 73 percent believe
participants do better when they reach elementary school; and
71 percent think preschool programs strengthen families by giving
parents the resources they need to help their children get a
one in five persons surveyed currently had children aged five
and under, and Barnett sees the widespread support for early
education from adults who aren’t directly involved as
poll was conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates and
Market Strategies last winter. Those questioned numbered 1107
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