Early Childhood Education Neighborhood Participation Patterns

Early childhood education can produce significant gains in learning, development, and life chances.  Early childhood education programs (designed for children ages 3-5) are provided in childcare, daycare, preschool, and pre-kindergarten settings. They may be located in center-based, home-based, or public school settings, and they may be part-day, full-day or year-round. They can also be privately run, operated by a local school system, or operated by a federally funded program like Head Start.


  • The average ratio of early child education participation in the Metro Boston area is 0.32
  • Generally, neighborhoods in the City of Boston have a lower participation rate

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Definition: Ratio of number of children (3 years and older) attending preschool/nursery school in the block group to total number of children < 5 years old in the block group.

Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2010-2014 5 years estimates

Footnote: Children age 3 and 4 year olds is not available in the block group level. Thus, we use population age less than 5 years old as the substitute. In some case, older children are included in the number of children attending preschool/nursery school, which caused the ratio over 1.0. In those case, we coded any ratio that’s greater than 1.0 as 1.0. For those block groups where data is NA, we coded them as 0.

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