The number of children enrolled in public or private prekindergarten education programs, expressed as a percentage of all children age 4.
Early emphasis on reading and social skills prepares children to succeed later in their education.
In 2017, 44% of Essex County 4-year olds were enrolled in a pre-kindergarten education program, lower than the state rate of 54% in 2017. There has been a steady increase in participation, rising from 36% in 2002. Over that time, there was a larger increase in enrollment in public programs, rising 23% to more than 3,000, than private programs, which decreased 6% to over 900.
Essex County had a lower participation rate than Middlesex, MA, whose rate was 52% in 2017. Comparable data were not available for Westchester, NY and Lake, IL.
Enrollment is based on counts made on Oct. 1 of each year.