Differences by family income
Children from families with higher incomes had higher rates of full-day preschool program enrollment. For example, in 2017, 34 percent of children ages 3 to 5 living in households with incomes of $75,000 or more were enrolled in a full-day program, compared with 24 to 30 percent of children who lived in families with incomes from $15,000 to just under $75,000. This disparity has decreased over time (Appendix 1). Around 40 percent of children in these high-income families did not attend any preschool program in 2017, compared with 46 percent of children with family incomes between $50,000 and $74,999, and between 54 and 55 percent of children with family incomes below $50,000 (Appendix 2).
The proportion of children not attending any preschool or prekindergarten program has generally increased since 1996 among those with family incomes of $30,000 or more, and has remained steady among those with family incomes less than that (Appendix 2).