Early years are critical learning times—the foundation of a child’s success. High-quality public preschool experiences are a key in ensuring equal opportunity for all of our children. Iowa public schools have dramatically expanded access to high-quality preschools, thanks to the commitment of Iowans to this effort.


Preschool: A Foundation for Success

Find out how Nodaway Valley Community Schools is making a difference for children in their community, ensuring they are kindergarten-ready.

So, why does preschool matter?

Learning gaps begin before kindergarten. A great preschool program can benefit any child. But early learning efforts are especially important to ensure the success of low-income students, who often start behind their more affluent peers.

of a child's brain development happens before age 5

gap of hours of one-on-one picture book reading between a middle-class child and low-income child
million fewer words: poor children hear far fewer words before entering school, compared to their more affluent peers
the number of letters a middle class child recognizes, compared to just 9 for a child from a low-income family

Iowa recognizes that its economic future depends on early investment in its youngest citizens and is doing something about it. Ensuring that every child has access to high quality preschool can help to pave the way for their success in school, on the job, and in Iowa communities.

Steve Barnett, Director, National Institute for Early Education Research, May 2016

Quality early education is as essential for a productive 21st century workforce as road or the internet; investing in it grows the economy.”

Early Childhood Education for All: A Wise Investment, MIT Workplace Center and Legal Momentum’s Family Initiative, April 2005

Preschool Fact Sheet

Want to dig deeper into facts and figures about preschool programs in Iowa public schools? Download the 2-page fact sheet to learn more about why preschool matters, facts about preschool programs in public schools across Iowa, and the positive results schools are seeing through this investment.

Download the preschool fact sheet