What does this measure?
The number of children, age four or otherwise eligible for kindergarten in the following school year, enrolled in publicly funded prekindergarten programs, expressed as a percentage of all 4–year–olds.
Why is this important?
Early emphasis on reading and social skills prepares children to succeed later in their education.
How are Cayuga and Seneca counties performing?
In 2010, 51% of Cayuga’s 4–year–olds were enrolled in publicly funded prekindergarten programs, up from 28% in 2009. In Seneca, the rate was 37%, up a point from the previous year. At the state (excluding NYC) level, the rate was 54%, up from 41% from the previous year. The comparison counties all had higher enrollment rates than Cayuga and Seneca counties, with Ontario reporting the highest at 60%. Cayuga, all the comparison counties and the state have had marked increases since 2000, while Seneca’s participation rate increased through 2005 and then declined, ending 6 points above 2000.
Notes about the data
Figures reflect children in free prekindergarten programs provided by school districts or community organizations. In 1997, New York State enacted a law providing public support for prekindergarten in an attempt to get more children enrolled in early education programs.