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Race Equity Trends > Education

Young Children Enrolled in Preschool by Race/Ethnicity

Disparities exist in preschool enrollment for some racial/ethnic groups

Preschool, or nursery school1, attendance has been shown to have a positive impact on children’s lives. It has been shown to improve development of their social-emotional skills and to improve their later academic achievement.2 Preschool attendance also likely improves children’s earnings later in life. Being able to send children to preschool can enable some parents/caregivers to work, impacting families’ financial well-being.

Some racial and ethnic groups in Lincoln have lower enrollment in preschool than would be proportional to their size in the overall population. This is particularly true for American Indian or Alaskan Native children, Black or African American children, and Latino/a or Hispanic children. Systemic, familial, cultural, and economic factors, including preschool costs, impact preschool enrollment decisions for all families.

In Lincoln:

  • 77.00% of children enrolled in preschool are identified as White.
    • 72.8% of children under 5 years of age are identified as White.
  • 4.3% of children enrolled in preschool are identified as Asian.
    • 3.8% of children under 5 years of age are identified as Asian.
  • 0.3% of children enrolled in preschool are identified as American Indian or Alaska Native.
    • 1.3% of children under 5 years of age are identified as American Indian or Alaska Native.
  • 2.6% of children enrolled in preschool are identified as Black or African American.
    • 4.5% of children under 5 years of age are identified as Black or African American.
  • 10.4% of children enrolled in preschool are identified as Latino/a or Hispanic.
    • 14.9% of children under 5 years of age are identified as Latino/a or Hispanic.
  • 2.6% of children enrolled in preschool are identified as Some Other Race.
    • 4.1% of children under 5 years of age are identified as Some Other Race.
  • 13.2% of children enrolled in preschool are identified with Two or More Races.
    • 13.4% of children under 5 years of age are identified with Two or More Races.
Notes

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2021 5-year estimates, Tables DP05 and B14007 series.

Latino or Hispanic category has some overlap with other categories.

Footnotes
  1. US Census Bureau. (2021) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about School Enrollment. https://www.census.gov/topics/education/school-enrollment/about/faq.html. The US Census bureau defines nursery school “as a group or class that is organized to provide educational experiences for children during the year or years preceding kindergarten. It includes instruction as an important and integral phase of its program of child care…Children enrolled in Head Start programs or similar programs sponsored by local agencies to provide preschool education to young children are counted under nursery school.” For US Census Bureau data, nursery school and preschool are not differentiated.
  2. Pianta, Robert C., Barnett, W. Steven, Burchinal, Margaret, and Kathy R. Thornburg. 2009. The Effects of Preschool Education: What We Know, How Public Policy is or Is Not Aligned with the Evidence Base, and What We Need to Know. Psychological Science in the Public Interest Vol. 10 (2) 49-88.
  3. Bartik, Timothy J. 2014. From Preschool to Prosperity: The Economic Payoff to Early Childhood Education. Kalamazoo, Michigan: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.