Trends in the Use of Early Care and Education, 1995-2011: Descriptive Analysis of Child Care Arrangements from National Survey Data. Race and Ethnicity


Gaps in preschool enrollment by race and ethnicity were present in 1995 but in some cases disappeared by 2011, according to the CPS data (Figure 13).  Preschool enrollment increased among Black children, and the Black-White enrollment gap in 1995 (for three- and four-year-old children) was no longer present by 2011.  The Asian-White enrollment gap for three- and four-year-old children was also significant in 1995 but not in 2011. White children’s enrollment in preschool increased from 51 to 55 percent; Black children’s enrollment increased from 45 to 54 percent; and Asian children’s enrollment increased from 38 to 49 percent (the change in Asian children is not statistically significant).  While Latino children’s preschool enrollment increased from 32 to 38 percent, Latino preschool enrollment rates remained lower than rates for children of all other racial and ethnic groups (i.e., White, Black, Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native, and multiracial children; CPS Table 1.1).

For both Black and Latino children, the increase in preschool enrollment was driven by four-year-olds.  Black four-year-olds increased enrollment rates from 60 percent to 72 percent, and Latino four-year-olds increased from 46 percent to 54 percent.  Among three-year-olds, however, there was no discernible increase in preschool enrollment among Black or Latino children (CPS Table 1.1).

Figure 13. Children Ages 3 and 4, Preschool Participation Rates, by Race and Ethnicity

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