- 28 states and the District of Columbia outpaced Oregon in enrolling young children in school in 2013-2014.
- When Oregon’s 3- and 4-year-olds turn 5, they will have already spent less time in the classroom than the average young child in the U.S.
- Fewer than half of Oregon’s young children have attended early education programs over the last decade.
- 41 percent of Oregon’s young children who qualify for state preschool programs are not served.
Where You Live Matters
- Over 21,000 3- and 4-year-olds living in poverty in Oregon lack access to state-funded early education programs.
- In its first year, Preschool Promise served children in only 17 out of 36 counties in Oregon.
- Rural children are acutely affected by a lack of access to high-quality early education.
Programs Currently Operating in Oregon
- Head Start and Oregon Prekindergarten: This is free preschool program for 3- and 4-year-olds living at or below 100% of the federal poverty threshold. Students also receive nutritious meals, medical screenings, and home visits. Demand for the program currently exceeds the number of available spaces.
- Preschool Promise: This program, overseen by Early Learning Hubs around Oregon provides high-quality education to children living at or below 200% of the federal poverty threshold, and currently serves 1300 children. More information on the program is available in our Preschool Promise Brief.
- Reach Out and Read: In coordination with pediatricians and nurse practitioners, this program serves over 76,000 children across Oregon each year and distributes more than 140,000 books.
- SMART (Start Making a Reader Today): This program pairs almost 10,000 students in Oregon with a network of 5,000 reading volunteers who read one-on-one with children in grades preK-third, for one hour each week.
As we have previously discussed in this blog, improved access to early learning is a strategy for achieving equity. Our current early education programs, though, are leaving too many low-income children behind.