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Early Childhood - Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies

Early Childhood - Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies

Georgia was the first

Georgia was the first state in the nation to offer universal access to pre-K for all 4-year-old children, and currently serves 55% of this age group state-wide. Georgia counties in the MSA enrolled a total of 514 children in pre-K during the 2001-2002 school year and 662 in 2005-2006, an increase of 29% over the 5 year period. Tennessee is in the process of expanding access to public pre-K. In 2004, the state began a lottery for higher education scholarships, and excess funds were allocated for early education programs. 9 Tennessee Governor Bredesen has a long term goal of universal pre-K, and percentages of those children enrolled in Tennessee’s pre-K program have increased significantly from 2% of 4-year old children in 2002 to 16% in 2007. But current program offerings remain low when compared to the population and to Georgia’s enrollment percentages. 9 State of Preschool 2007, published by the National Institute for Early Education Research. URL: http://nieer.org/yearbook/ pdf/yearbook.pdf accessed May 2008. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and local public funding sources support Head Start and Early Head Start programs for families and their preschool children. Participants are those with incomes below the federal poverty line. Head Start serves families with children 3 and 4 years old. Under Early Head Start, pregnant women and those with children ages 0 to 3 are eligible for child and family development services. Metro Area county Pre-K and Head Start Enrollment m e t r o co u n t y p r e-k h e a d sta r t e a r ly he a d sta r t Hamilton TN 414 622 146 Marion TN 107 124 No Early Head Start Sequatchie TN 31 49 No Early Head Start Catoosa GA 231 96 24 Dade GA 122 51 16 Walker GA 279 224 24 10

In 2001-2002, a total of 5,350 children were enrolled in public school kindergarten programs in the Metro Area. Between 2001-2002 and 2005-2006, Metro Area kindergarten enrollment increased by 9%. All counties, except Catoosa, had increases in kindergarten enrollment. Hamilton County, with 65% of the total Metro Area population under five years old, had 58% of public kindergarten population in the 2001-2002 school year—percentages that remained unchanged five years later. 10 10 Public school systems in the Metro area are determined by county boundaries. Non-white children accounted for nearly four out of ten children in Hamilton County’s kindergarten classrooms. All other kindergarten populations in the Metro Area were more than 90% White. Metro Area and Metro Counties: Kindergarten Enrollment in Public Schools MSA Counties: Kindergarten populations in county public schools m e t r o co u n t y 2001-2002 2005-2006 %m s a to ta l 2001-2002 %m s a to ta l 2005-2006 Metro Area 5350 5804 100% 100% Hamilton County, TN 3102 3375 58% 58% Marion County, TN 374 416 7% 7% Catoosa County, GA 208 174 4% 3% Sequatchie County, TN 120 191 2% 3% Dade County, GA 790 818 15% 14% Walker County, GA 756 830 14% 14% Source: Census 2000 and National Center for Educational Statistics Metro Area and Metro Counties: Kindergarten Enrollment in Public Schools Kindergarten county public school population by race: 2005-2006 % w h i t e Hamilton County TN 61.0% Marion County TN 97.1% Sequatchie county TN 97.9% Dade County GA 98.2% Catoosa County GA 93.7% Walker County, GA 756 Source: National Center for Education Statistics 11

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