The number of children eligible for kindergarten in the following school year who are enrolled in publicly funded prekindergarten programs, expressed as a percentage of all 4-year-olds.
Early emphasis on reading and social skills prepares children to succeed later in their education.
In 2015, 42% of our region's 4-year-olds were enrolled in prekindergarten programs, up from 11% in 2001 but below the state rate of 47%. Since 2001, each county in the region has had an overall increase in their prekindergarden participation rate, with notable increases in Orleans and Wayne (up 56 and 54 points respectively). The highest rates in 2015 were in Orleans (68%) and Wayne (59%), and the lowest rates were in Wyoming (26%). The Rochester City School District had the highest participation rate of 72% in 2015, up from 66% in 2014. If we add in the 685 4-year-olds attending the federally funded Head Start program, the participation rate reaches 95%.
New York State did not provide comparable data for 2013. Figures reflect children in free prekindergarten programs provided by school districts or community organizations; they do not include children attending private preschool or federally funded Head Start. In 1997, New York State enacted a law providing public support for prekindergarten, effective 1998.