Fast Facts

This is a quick-reference section of Plan4Preschool, hosting commonly sought-after pieces of information, including statistics on preschool in California, preschool program funding sources, directories of ECE higher education programs, a list of funded local innovators, and a list of user-generated ECE weblinks.

To see a chart of California funding sources and programs, visit California Preschool at a Glance.


California's Preschool Children:

  • There are 540,827 four year olds in California1
  • Approximately 62% attend preschool or Head Start programs prior to kindergarten2
  • 39 % of preschool children are likely English language learners (ELLs)3
  • An estimated 13.7 – 18% of all children have some form of special health care need4
  • Two years of special health care intervention prior to school saves $30,000 to $100,000 per child5

Child Care Facilities:

Note: these numbers include private, faith-based, non-profit, for profit and school sites.

  • There are 11,054 licensed child care centers in California (for 0 – 13 year olds)6
  • There are 38,1132 Family Child Care Homes (large and small) in California
  • These sites can serve and estimated 1,063,193 children (0 – 13)7
  • There are nearly 4 million children under 13 with working parents8

Preschool Workforce:

  • California’s licensed ECE workforce is approximately 130,000 people9
  • Average annual salary for centers’ highest paid teachers (those with a BA or higher) is $34,38210
  • This is nearly $16,000 less than that of the average California kindergarten teacher11 and less than half (46%) of the State Median Income for a family of four ($74,801) 12
  • 60% of centers employ at least one teacher with a BA or higher13
  • Average annual ECE teacher turnover is 22%, twice that of California public school K-12 teachers14

Families:

  • The cost of are for one preschooler in a center averages $7,477 per year in California15, more than twice the annual tuition and fees at the average Cal State University ($3,560)16
  • 44% of young children live in low income families17
  • Only 25% of eligible 3-year-olds and 53% of 4-year-olds who are eligible for public preschool are served by those programs (are estimated to be served) 18

Where we rank, % of 4 year olds in publicly financed preschool:

  • California ranks 26th in 4 year olds’ access to publicly funded preschool19
  • Oklahoma serves 88% of its 4 year olds in publicly funded preschool programs
  • California only serves 12% of its 4-year-olds in the official State Preschool System
  • California spends $3,607 per child enrolled, compared to a national average of $4,061
  • According to a UNICEF study of 21 rich democracies, the US ranks 20th in overall child well-being and sixth out of the seven G7 Countries in access to public early education for 3 to 5 year olds20

Cost-Benefit Analyses

For more on the economic and social return on investment of Early Care and Education expenditures, see the Cost-Benefit Analysis research section.



End Notes

  1. Center for Health Statistics, birth data for 2005 and 2006 http://www.applications.dhs.ca.gov/vsq/screen_Race_birtha.asp?cnty_cd=AA&YEAR_DATA=2005&Criteria=&Res_occ=Residence&Birth_Death=Birth&Stats=1
  2. Bridges, Margaret, B. Fuller, R. Rumberger, and L. Tran, "Preschool for California's Children, Promising Benefits, Unequal Access. PACE, Policy Brief (Report) 04-32004. from CDE website "Preschool For All" http://www.cde.ca.gov/eo/in/se/yr05preschoolwp.asp
  3. Based on the number of kindergarteners who are English Language Learners - Naughton, S. "Importance of Family Engagement," Children Now, December 2004, issue brief. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/1b/b1/ae.pdf
  4. High Risk Infant Interagency Council report, Assessing Our Reach, http://www.hriic.org/finalreport.pdf
  5. Meisels S. J. & Shonkoff, J. P. Handbook of Early Childhood Intervention. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
  6. Cal. Child Care Resource and Referral Network 2007 Child Care Portfolio http://www.rrnetwork.org/publications/2007/california.pdf
  7. ibid.
  8. ibid. Children living with two parents or a single head-of-household in the labor force.
  9. California Early Care and Education Workforce Study: 2006 Statewide Highlights, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment and the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network. http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/cscce/pdf/statewide_highlights.pdf
  10. ibid.
  11. ibid.
  12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services LIHEAP Clearinghouse http://liheap.ncat.org/profiles/povertytables/FY2009/casmi.htm
  13. "California Early Care and Education Workforce Study: 2006 Statewide Highlights," Center for the Study of Child Care Employment and the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network. http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/cscce/pdf/statewide_highlights.pdf
  14. Alliance for Excellent Education, "Teacher Attrition: a costly loss to the nation and to states." Issue Brief, Aug. 2005
  15. Cal. Child Care Resource and Referral Network 2007 Child Care Portfolio http://www.rrnetwork.org/publications/2007/california.pdf
  16. CSU Student Academic Support website http://www.calstate.edu/SAS/fa_coa.shtml
  17. Child Care Law Center http://www.childcarelaw.org/docs/CCLCWFS.pdf
  18. Rand, "Publicly Funded Early Care and Education Programs for California Preschoolers" http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9307/index1.html
  19. NIEER "State of Preschool 2008" http://nieer.org/yearbook/pdf/yearbook.pdf
  20. Every Child Matters Education Fund, "Homeland Insecurity," January 2009 http://www.everychildmatters.org/images/stories/pdf/homelandinsecurity3.pdf