Early Education Highlights of NCES "Condition of Education" Report
Double the percentage of children were enrolled in full-time "pre-primary" education, that is, preschool and kindergarten, in 2013 than were in 1990. Black children were the most likely to be enrolled in kindergarten of any racial group in 2013. And the higher a family's level of education, the more likely that family was to enroll its children in preschool.
These were among the many findings presented in the National Center for Education Statistics report on the "Condition of Education," released the last week of May.
In addition to the enrollment numbers, one of the report's three spotlight reports looks at kindergartner's "approaches to learning," essentially whether they are paying attention in school and know the basic behaviors, like raising hands, that lead to success. Not surprisingly, children with higher scores, those who "often" demonstrate these behaviors, clock higher reading scores in both kindergarten and 1st grade. Also not surprisingly, scores correlate closely with family income and level of education.
Age and gender seemed to have the strongest effects on kindergarteners' approaches to learning, with girls and older students using positive approaches to learning more often than boys and younger learners. Race and ethnic distinctions showed smaller differences in how children approached learning.
Here's a video summarizing the primary findings about who attends early-education programs in the U.S.