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Enrollment rates of children in universal prekindergarten programs in Vermont in 2016/17

Region:
Northeast & Islands
Description:
The purpose of this study was to examine the enrollment patterns in Vermont’s universal, mixed-delivery prekindergarten (preK) program and the child characteristics associated with the likelihood of being enrolled in different program types. This study describes the characteristics of children enrolled in universal preK programs in 2016/17, which was the first year of full implementation of universal preK in Vermont. Secondary data for 5,662 children enrolled in 282 preK programs were analyzed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Results showed that vulnerable children in preK—that is, those with individualized education programs and those identified as eligible for free or reduced-price lunch—were more likely to enroll in public school programs and in programs with higher quality ratings than their peers. While most children enrolled in a program within the geographic boundaries of their local education agency, children with individualized education programs and those identified as eligible for free or reduced-price lunch were more likely to do so. Overall, these findings indicate higher proportions of higher-needs students were enrolled in public school programs compared to private programs. In future efforts to examine how changes to Vermont’s preK program may affect families’ access to preK, Vermont could conduct additional research on how families make decisions about enrolling their children in different preK programs.
Publication Type:
Descriptive Study
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
January 2020
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