Change Indicator

Kindergartners with pre-kindergarten experience in Connecticut

Kindergartners with pre-kindergarten experience

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Note: Non-consecutive years appear adjacent in the trend line
because one or more years have been deselected.

Why This Indicator Matters

Preschool fosters children’s intellectual capabilities at an early age when they begin to develop their cognitive functions.[i] Findings from an evaluation of a school readiness program which subsidized attendance at public school and center-based and public school pre-K programs suggest that while children enrolled in the former had the highest gains in cognitive and language development, center-based childcare programs in the community may excel at fostering school readiness within racially and ethnically diverse populations and populations of children living in poverty.[ii] Similar analysis of Oklahoma’s universal pre-K program found enrollment in pre-K significantly improves scores on various school readiness measures, including letter-word identification, spelling, and applied problem solving, which contribute to students’ future academic success. [iii] Pre-K experience can also help children develop critical socio-emotional skills before reaching kindergarten, which research suggests are linked to improved outcomes in young adulthood across numerous domains, including education, employment, criminal activity, substance use, and mental health.[iv]Nationwide, Connecticut has the highest share of young children enrolled in school, according to analysis of the 2014-2016 period by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2018 Kids Count book. [v]

[i] Diamond, A., Barnett, W. S., Thomas, J., & Munro, S. (2007). Preschool Program Improves Cognitive Control. Science (New York, N.Y.), 318(5855), 1387–1388.

[ii] Winsler, A., Tran, H., Hartman, S. C., Madigan, A. L., Manfra, L., & Bleiker, C. (2008). School readiness gains made by ethnically diverse children in poverty attending center-based childcare and public school pre-kindergarten programs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly23(3), 314-329.

[iii] Gormley Jr, W. T., Gayer, T., Phillips, D., & Dawson, B. (2005). The effects of universal pre-K on cognitive development. Developmental psychology41(6), 872.

[iv] Jones, D. E., Greenberg, M., & Crowley, M. (2015). Early social-emotional functioning and public health: The relationship between kindergarten social competence and future wellness. American journal of public health105(11), 2283-2290.

[v]The Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Center. Young Children (ages 4 and 540 not in school: 2014-16  (Table). Retrieved from

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Definition and Source



This indicator reports the percentage of children who had preschool experience prior to entering kindergarten. Pre-kindergarten experience is defined as regularly attending Head Start, nursery school, a licensed day care center, or public preschool program during the previous school year or summer. Note that prior kindergarten experience is self-reported by the parents or caregivers of children entering kindergarten, and can include preschool experience in various care settings.


Data Source

State Department of Education, Unpublished Data, Academic Years 2001 to 2006. 

Connecticut School Data Report (ED165) 2007-08 to 2021-22 school years (inclusive) Public School Information System (PSIS) Oct. 1 collection 2007-08 to 2021-22 school years (inclusive). 




The percentage of kindergarteners with a prekindergarten experience are based upon the number of kindergarteners reported as having a prekindergarten experience divided by the total number of kindergarten students reported as of October 1. The percentages of kindergarteners with pre-kindergarten experience were tabulated by the State Department of Education.  

NA = Not Available

Last Updated

February 2023