From the Marketing Side
initiatives, or legislative developments
Growth Forecast For in their state. Only four mentioned
quality when all states were asked the
The Pre-K Market same question in 2005.
In 2007, New Jersey will require all
Abbott preschool teachers to hold a BA
and be currently working toward pre-
school certification. Florida is working
Bob Stimolo on implementing a quality rating sys-
tem, and in Arkansas quality standards
are under development that “will meet
the highest level of standards once
implemented,” said one source.
The push for high quality programs
may result in more states requiring
a BA and/or specialized training in
ike Wilson, investing an additional $50 million in child care and preschool education.
president pre-k funding. This marks New York’s This should result in increased teacher
and founder first significant pre-k funding increase wages, lower teacher turnover, and
of Wilson since 9/11 and California’s largest increased demand for both Internet and
Marketing increase since 2004. There will also be college-based credentialing programs.
Group, issued his annual forecast pre- huge pre-k advances in several smaller Many states are also debating reduced
dicting continued growth in the pre-k states – notably New Mexico (up 237%), pre-k class sizes and better teacher to
market. Here is an excerpt from this South Carolina (up 117%), Tennessee child ratios that would ultimately create
report: (up 57%), Kentucky (up 45%), more job openings for teaching staffs.
The pre-k movement is benefiting Pennsylvania (up 31%), and Colorado It may also increase demand for some
from increased support from voters, (up 20%). types of classroom supplies, equip-
politicians, major company CEOs, ment, modular buildings, and partition
teachers, and advocacy groups. More Emphasis on Early products.
Advocates, armed with new reports, Learning
are touting the economic and educa- A study conducted by the National More Preschool Programs
tional benefits of pre-k. More states are Institute for Early Education Research Over the past year, the number of
increasing the number of pre-k pro- (NIEER) in December of 2005 discov- schools with pre-k increased from
grams and placing greater emphasis on ered that children attending state pre-k about 39,000 to 41,000. Most of these
quality. This has driven state spending had improved vocabulary, math, and programs are in conventional elemen-
to a new high. English skills when entering kindergar- tary schools, but a growing number of
We project that state pre-k funding ten. Because of this and similar studies, school systems are allocating separate
will increase 9.7 percent to $4.564 bil- states now view pre-k programs as vital buildings for their early childhood pro-
lion in fiscal year 2007, again growing starting points for learning as they work grams. The number of these special
at a higher rate than spending for K-12 to close the achievement gap and com- preschool buildings has grown from
education which is budgeted to grow ply with the No Child Left Behind Act. 4,389 to 4,883 during the past year.
by 7.9 percent. For five of seven years, This is contributing to a “push down” School systems are also outsourcing
state pre-k spending has increased at effect where subjects or skills formerly their pre-k programs to private centers.
a significantly higher rate than state taught in kindergarten are being intro- The number of private child care cen-
K-12 spending, as shown in the State duced in the preschool classroom. ters receiving public pre-k funding has
Education Spending chart. increased from 1,534 to 5,131 during
State funding for pre-k increased 109 More Attention to Quality the past year.
percent from 2000 to 2007, compared Many states are working toward adopt-
to an estimated 42 percent increase ing comprehensive early learning Public Use of Private Sector
in state funding for K-12 education. quality standards for publicly funded Private centers are eligible for public
In 2007, 29 states plus the District of pre-k programs. Studies that analyze pre-k funding in all of the top 10 spend-
Columbia will increase pre-k spending, and compare the effects of low versus ing states and in 18 smaller states. Use
while only two – Louisiana and Kansas high quality preschool show that high of the already abundant private center
– will decrease it. Two mega-states quality programs dramatically increase infrastructure eliminates the need to
– California and New York – account for benefits to children and society. Eleven build new facilities, hire new staff, and
the largest portion of this year’s $404.4 states surveyed in FY 2006 identified buy new play equipment. The resulting
million increase. quality improvement as a major trend reduced cost allows states to provide
California and New York are each when asked to identify any new trends, pre-k services to far more children than
8 NSSEA ESSENTIALS NOV/DEC 2006
would have been possible with con- The Outlook For Pre-K the rate of growth will not be nearly as
ventional education funding. However, Pre-k in the United States is a work-in- dramatic as in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
most private centers still rely mainly progress. The patchwork of sometimes Infant/toddler care will become
on parent-paid tuition money. We are overlapping state and Federal initiatives increasingly common in private centers
projecting about 2 percent net growth seems destined to continue, despite in response to employment needs. The
in the number of private preschools in inherent inefficiencies. However, we level of professionalism will improve,
operation this year, mainly due to high cannot entirely rule out the possibility due to a combination of public man-
employment. of eventual evolution into a compre- date and private competition for enroll-
hensive national program similar to the ments.
Flat Federal Funding centrally planned preschool programs Less than half of the nation’s twenty
Federal pre-k funding will increase only of some European countries. This million children under the age five are
.3 percent in 2007 if Congress accepts would require persuasive leadership currently served by centers and school-
the Bush administration’s budget pro- from a national politician, probably a based pre-k. The market has a lot of
posals. This does not come as a sur- President. growing left to do.
prise, since between 2004 and 2006 the Eventually we will have a resumption For more information, you
federal pre-k budget grew only 1.1%. of Federal funding growth supporting can contact Mike Wilson by call-
Head Start, 21st Century Community pre-k. State funding will continue to ing 800.445.2089 or by email at
Learning Centers, Reading First, and grow, virtually without interruption. email@example.com
Early Reading First are level-funded However, some states will increase
under the President’s budget request. their pre-k funding faster than others.
Pre-k and Kindergarten Title I funding Presently only 25.3 percent of all Bob Stimolo, NSSEA’s Official School
has had steady growth for five straight three- and four-year-olds are affected by Market Consultant, is President of
years but would receive only a 1.5 public funding. An ever-increasing num- School Market Research Institute (SMRI)
percent funding increase. The children ber of three- and four-year-olds will be and an education marketing consultant.
under five portions of the Child Care served in the future. The private child Reach him by phone: 800.838.3444,
and Development Fund would receive care market will continue to grow as mail: PO Box 10, Haddam, CT 06438,
a 2.9 percent increase. Even Start could more states make private centers eligi- email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit: www.
again be scrapped. ble for public pre-k funding. However, smriinc.com for more information.
State Education Spending
STATE FUNDING FOR
Year Pre-K Increase K-12* PRE-K INCREASED 109
Increase Increase PERCENT FROM 2000
2001 21.8% 3.7% TO 2007, COMPARED
2002 16.7% 3.4% TO AN ESTIMATED 42
PERCENT INCREASE IN
2003 2.5% 2.4% STATE FUNDING FOR
2004 4.3% 6.4% K-12 EDUCATION. IN
2005 12.1% 7.6% 2007, TWENTY-NINE
STATES PLUS THE
2006 11.8% 6.9% DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
2007(projected) 9.7% 7.9% WILL INCREASE PRE-K
*K-12 data provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures
NSSEA ESSENTIALS WWW.NSSEA.ORG 9