Study: Disadvantaged Families Less Likely to Apply for Universal Pre-K

Universal prekindergarten programs, which offer free enrollment for most or all age-eligible children in a city or state, have been expanding in the U.S. in recent years. Few studies, however, have examined which families do – and which families don’t – apply to them.

A recent study of thousands of Boston students, coauthored by the University of Michigan’s Anna Shapiro and Christina Weiland, finds that non-white and economically disadvantaged families are significantly less likely to apply and enroll in universal pre-k.

Shapiro and Weiland join CPRE Knowledge Hub managing editor Keith Heumiller to discuss their findings and some important implications for policymakers, families and other stakeholders across the country.