Texas’s targeted public pre-K program serves 47% of the state’s population of 4-year-olds. To be eligible, children must meet one of a short list of criteria meant to identify and support children experiencing risk factors. Public School Prekindergarten is administered by the Texas Education Administration’s Early Childhood Division and is offered in a combination of public and private settings. Additionally, the State’s House Bill 3, signed into law in June 2019, requires that “all prekindergarten programs offered to eligible four-year-old students be full-day, and meet the high-quality requirements adopted by the legislature in 2015” (TEA, 2022). Texas continued its expansion efforts by launching the Child Care Expansion Initiative in May 2022, which is run by the Texas Workforce Commission. The initiative helps programs open a new location, increase capacity by adding slots, or convert existing slots to infant slots.
National Institute for Early Education Research. (2023). Texas.
Texas Education Agency. (n.d.). Prekindergarten Registration and Enrollment.
Texas Education Agency. (n.d.). Prekindergarten Program FAQ.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:
Learn More about ELS@H Findings
High-quality, affordable early education and care supports children’s healthy development and allows families to work, engage in their own educational pursuits, and/or participate in other aspects of community life. To support children and families in these instrumental ways, research suggests there is a need to expand the availability of early education opportunities across the mixed-delivery system.
Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:
- Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
- But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.