• Early Education

In continuation of the State of Pre-K series, Mississippi First released the 2021 State of Pre-K briefs, which focuses on child outcomes, teacher qualifications, and access to pre-K in Mississippi during the 2017-2018 school year.

Each pre-K brief shows strong evidence that the collaborative program is the path to expanding pre-K quality statewide. Collaboratives are in communities that resemble the state economically and demographically. They are outperforming non-collaborative public school pre-K.

Brief #1

Public School and Collaborative Pre-K Programs and Kindergarten Readiness in 2017-2018

Rigorous program standards have long been a focus for improving program quality, but they ultimately need to be paired with direct child outcome measures to determine if the standards are having the intended effect—helping children learn and grow.

Brief #2

Pre-K Teacher Qualifications in 2017-2018

A key element of pre-K program quality is the effectiveness of lead and assistant teachers in improving student outcomes across early learning domains, including academic domains.

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. Over time, we have found that areas with the highest poverty rates tend to have strong access to public pre-K.

Brief #4

Access to Pre-K, 2017-2018

The pre-K access rate for four-year-olds across all providers was 67.29% in 2017-2018. This rate represents the total percentage of four-year-old children served statewide when combining enrollments across provider types (public school districts, blended Head Start, Head Start, and licensed childcare), including all programs participating in the Early Learning Collaboratives.


rachel canter

Rachel Canter

Executive Director

Rachel Canter is the Executive Director of Mississippi First and author of additional Mississippi First reports, including Leaving Last in Line, the State of Pre-K series, and Nothing in the Pipes: Educator Crisis in Mississippi (2020). Rachel founded Mississippi First in 2008.

Micayla Tatum

Director of Early Childhood Policy

Micayla Tatum is the Director of Early Childhood Policy and the co-author of the third and fourth State of Pre-K brief that focuses on access to pre-K in 2017-2018. She also was the project lead for the development and publishing of the pre-K data dashboard.