Mississippi First releases a third 2021 pre-K research brief demonstrating the benefits of pre-K for children living in poverty.
Brief #3: Poverty and Pre-K Access in Mississippi, 2017-2018
Research consistently shows that children living in poverty receive the greatest benefit from pre-K. Due to the strength of public pre-K programs, access to pre-K is greater in areas with higher concentrations of children in poverty. Public pre-K programs include Head Start, blended Head Start, school district programs, Early Learning Collaboratives, and childcare centers participating in Early Learning Collaboratives. However, multiple areas with many children in poverty still struggle with pre-K access.
Since our founding, Mississippi First has known access to high-quality, no- and low-cost pre-K in Mississippi would be a game-changer for our youngest learners. In our first pre-K publication, 2012’s Leaving Last in Line, we recommended creating state-funded pre-K in Mississippi through a collaborative approach. In 2013, the Early Learning Collaborative Act made this recommendation a reality. Since then, we have tracked the availability of quality pre-K statewide through our State of Pre-K series. Our first report in the series, published in 2015, detailed programmatic and contextual data about public school pre-K programs and the communities they served in 2011-2012. In the 2017 version of the report, Mississippi First provided data and analysis about private and public pre-K providers, including childcare, Head Start, public schools, and Early Learning Collaboratives. This year, Mississippi First is launching an online data platform through Tableau alongside mini briefs that outline our newest findings. The data is from the 2017-2018 school year.