What low preschool enrollment means for education in Arizona

Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 1:03pm
Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 7:43am
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Of the 45 states that offered publicly-funded preschool during the 2020-21 school year, Arizona had among the lowest percentage in the country of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled — at 2% for each age group. And there were fewer kids in those programs than the year before.

The data from the National Institute for Early Childhood Education also show Arizona met three of the 10 quality benchmarks the group set: in the areas of early learning and development standards, curriculum supports and a continuous quality improvement system. The state missed in areas including maximum class size, teacher-specialized training, professional development and staff-to-child ratio.

To learn what these results mean, The Show spoke with Mindy Zapata, the Head Start director at Southwest Human Development.

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