41 states have state-funded preK. Mississippi approved their first preK collaboratives in 2014.
In 2011-2012, more than 1.3 million children nationwide attended state-funded preK. 1.1 million of those children were age 4.
34% (51 of 152) of Mississippi school districts budgeted a combined $12,419,196.40 in Title I dollars for preK services in the 2011-2012 school year.
In December 2013, the first round of the Early Learning Collaborative awards were given to 11 different collaboratives from around the state.


Mississippi First believes preK can play a critical role in closing the achievement gap while raising achievement for all learners. Research supporting the positive impact of preK has fueled the proliferation of state-funded preK programs across the country. Mississippi First is an active advocate for preK in the state of Mississippi and has worked hard over the years to assist with passing legislation that supports early childhood education and  promotes state funded preK.

In 2012, MSF authored the issue brief, Leaving Last in Line, which established the framework for the Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2013. The new law, authored by Senator Brice Wiggins and Representative Toby Barker, is the first-ever state-funded preK program in Mississippi. Today, MSF provides technical assistance to the Mississippi Department of Education as it implements the law.

Read the full report and the executive summary.

PreKindergarten Resources

MSF preK Publications
MSF developed resources and publications about early education in Mississippi

Best Practices in Early Learning
National early learning benchmarks and research, along with successful state collaborative programs

Early Learning in Mississippi
News and information about Mississippi’s early education and childcare stakeholders

Pre-K Blog Posts

MSF Releases Additional Analyses about PreK in Mississippi

March 23, 2015 by MacKenzie Stroh
On February 23, Mississippi First released a ground-breaking report titled, The State of Public PreKindergarten in Mississippi (2011-2012). This was the first Mississippi report to attempt to quantify publicly funded preK access in every Mississippi community. In partnership with this report, Mississippi First released two...

High-Level Analysis of MS’s federal Preschool Development Grant

March 23, 2015 by MacKenzie Stroh
On October 13, 2014, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) submitted Mississippi’s official application for the federal Preschool Development Grant. The purpose of this grant was to fund the development of state preschool programs in states with less than 10% of eligible four-year-olds in such...

MSF Releases New PreK Report about Mississippi

February 23, 2015 by MacKenzie Stroh
The report link is being updated as corrections are submitted. Due to weather closing the office we have had to delay the release of the data and full summary report until next week. Updated: 3/6/2015 Mississippi First announces the release of their ground-breaking report titled, The...

MSF Hosts PreK Event

March 24, 2014 by MacKenzie Stroh
Mississippi First, along with the Committee for Economic Development, hosted “Incentives for Investing in PreK” on Friday, March 21, 2014 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, at the University of Southern Mississippi. The program educated the public on the importance of quality preK education in Mississippi, outlined the economic benefits...