The Atlantic

Where Are All the Preschoolers?

Communities may have the funding to expand services, but they don’t have the data needed to target the right children.
Source: Peter Nicholls / Reuters

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts, has had a serendipitous sequence of events supercharge its preschool-expansion efforts. Federal money came in just as local support for early-childhood education crested, and the closure of an early-childhood center created an opening for the school district to buy an existing facility.

The federal money, offered to Springfield and four other Massachusetts communities through the Preschool Expansion Grant program, enabled 195 new seats to go to 4-year-olds without prior experience in formal preschools.

Sally Fuller, the project director of Reading Success by 4th Grade at the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, has been working to expand access to high-quality early education in Springfield for years as part

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