Screenshot: Urban Institute website


Where are preschool-age children?

The Urban Institute, a nonprofit think tank, is providing answers with its new interactive data map — a great tool for advocates.

“Our interactive tool shows 10 important characteristics of 3- to 5-year-olds. It displays the characteristics by whether the children are enrolled in early education, whether their families are low income, or whether their parents are immigrants,” the institute says on its website.

“Understanding the characteristics of preschool-age children in our states and communities is an important first step for supporting children’s healthy development and school readiness.”

For example, “knowing more about the kids who are not enrolled in early education programs can help states and localities close achievement gaps for low-income children and children of immigrants.”

Data is broken out by state and metropolitan area. And there is a fact sheet that has national numbers.

“The insights that come from this tool can bring together communities to work on behalf of preschool children. Similar research in the Silicon Valley area revealed that low-income children were less likely to be enrolled in preschool than others and that 75 percent of low-income children in that community were children of immigrants,” the institute explains here.

The data lead to action, sparking “a conversation among local organizations, community leaders, and other stakeholders about how to use information on the characteristics of non-enrolled children to better target outreach efforts.”

So check out the map, get the data, and ask your policymakers to close gaps in preschool access.