WalletHub names Arkansas best state for early education systems

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 11:07 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) -A new study from WalletHub showed when it comes to monthly childcare, Arkansas was ranked first out of 50 states.

Pre-Kindergarten enrollment dropped by almost 300,000 students last year. This drop hurt children’s educational process and increased inequality.

WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia with 12 key factors.

  1. Share of school districts that offer state pre-k program
  2. Share of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in state pre-k program
  3. Share of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in pre-k, pre-k special education, and head start programs
  4. Presence of waiting lists or frozen intake for childcare assistance
  5. Pre-k program growth
  6. Pre-k quality benchmarks met
  7. Income requirement for state pre-k eligibility
  8. Requirement of school safety plans & audits
  9. Total reported spending per child enrolled in preschool
  10. Change in state spending per child enrolled in preschool (2018-19 to 2019-20)
  11. Total state head start program spending per child enrolled in preschool
  12. Monthly child care co-payment fees as a share of family income

“While good elementary schools, high schools, and colleges are important factors for parents to consider when choosing where to settle down, the availability of quality pre-K education is just as crucial,” said WalletHub. “Children enrolled in early education programs are more likely to be academically prepared for future grades.”

To learn more about Arkansas’s ranking in each category, and the methodology used to rank the states visit WalletHub’s full report.

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