Public preschool enrollment in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Access to high-quality preschool can enrich children's development so that they thrive in school and later enter the workforce as well-prepared employees. Public preschool is an optional program and the decision to offer a four-year-old program is made by school boards at the local level. Some areas of the state serve the majority of their four year olds through public preschool, where other areas serve a small percentage. 

What the data shows
 Enrollment in public pre-school had been increasing and was 6,187 students as of October 2019. But, due to the pandemic of 2020, fewer students enrolled in pre-Kindergarten in the fall of 2020, just 4746, statewide, a drop of 23%.

There is significant variation by county. The highest rates of public preschool enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is in Aroostook County at 73.8%, down from 92.9% the previous year. Second in 2020 was Washington County at 62.8%, down from 84.5%. In 2020, Cumberland and Hancock Counties had the lowest rates, both at 18%.
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Data Provided By

Definitions: The number and percent of four year old children enrolled in a four year old program offered through a school administrative unit. Children must be four years of age by October 15 of the entering school year in order to be eligible for a public preschool program. Data marked as 2020 is students enrolled as of October 2020.

Data Source: Maine Department of Education Data Warehouse

Footnotes: Data represent school years. Year indicated is the fall term of the year, such that "2020" data represent 2020-2021 school year.

Previous data for 2015-2016 was revised to include the sum of PK and PR which are two different types of public preschool programs. 2020 data from Maine Department of Education has no separate breakout between Pre-K and PR.

Last uploaded January 2021