Report: Indiana Has the Worst Early Education System in America

(UNDATED) – While good elementary schools, high schools, and colleges are important factors for parents to consider when choosing where to settle down, the availability of quality pre-K education is just as crucial.

study by the National Institute for Early Education Research showed that students enrolled in full-day pre-K programs do better on math and literacy tests than their peers who attend only partial day preschool. In addition, those who attend pre-K programs have been shown to have less risk of future crime than those who do not. Plus, pre-K programs may generate billions of dollars for the economy over a few decades, due to lessening the need for social services and creating more productive citizens.

To help parents find the states with the best early education systems, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics, including share of school districts that offer a state pre-K program, number of pre-K quality benchmarks met and total reported spending per child enrolled in pre-K.

Quality of Early Education in Indiana (1=Best; 25=Avg.):

  • 46th – Share of 3- and 4-year-olds Enrolled in pre-K, pre-K Special Education, and Head Start
  • 46th – Total Reported Spending per Child Enrolled in Preschool
  • 27th – Monthly Child Care Co-Payment Fees as a Percent of Family Income
  • 44th – Pre-K Program Growth
  • 51st – Change in State Spending per Child Enrolled in Preschool (2016-17 to 2017-18)

States with the Best & Worst Early Education Systems

Overall RankStateTotal Score‘Access’ Rank ‘Quality’ Rank‘Resources & Economic Support’ Rank
1Nebraska71.494223
2District of Columbia70.4712011
3Maryland65.8510322
4Vermont64.5224312
5Arkansas64.2019116
6West Virginia62.2861019
7Rhode Island60.662762
8Illinois55.1334224
9Alaska54.9132201
10Kentucky54.7191532
11New Jersey54.61122310
12Connecticut54.49141415
13South Carolina54.32111238
14Wisconsin54.1953928
15Oklahoma52.9973427
16Washington52.59161613
17Tennessee52.32151235
18Iowa51.9483330
19Michigan51.0220249
20Alabama50.3242617
21Delaware50.25182214
22Virginia49.1447431
23Texas48.8036547
24Maine47.73133434
25California46.4726387
25Georgia46.4739839
27Ohio46.05221743
28Oregon44.8843185
29North Carolina44.5744929
30Nevada43.3124478
31Montana42.8930474
32Louisiana42.76451125
33Hawaii41.74214337
34Florida41.50292446
35Colorado41.31381936
36Wyoming41.13252440
37South Dakota40.54282440
38Pennsylvania39.9746403
39New Mexico39.54413418
40Utah39.02332440
41Idaho38.02342445
42New Hampshire37.39312448
43New York37.05404320
44Minnesota36.7149416
45Arizona34.77483226
46Kansas33.67174949
47Massachusetts33.08374650
48North Dakota32.54235033
49Missouri29.90355121
50Mississippi29.70503444
51Indiana17.54512451
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