Vermont Universal Prekindergarten


  • Public Pre-K


Launched in 2016, Vermont’s Universal PrekindergartenUniversal Pre-K: programs in which the sole eligibility criterion is age. program offers a minimum of 10 hours per week (35 weeks/year) of publicly funded prekindergarten for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds (if they are not yet eligible for kindergarten). In April 2023, the Vermont General Assembly passed Bill S.56, which spelled out a multipronged effort to expand prekindergarten across the state. This effort includes a study of prekindergarten education, expanding eligibility for the Child Care Financial Assistance Program, and increasing the rate the State pays ECE providers. As of 2022, Vermont’s Universal Prekindergarten Program served 65% of 4-year-olds and 35% of 3-year-olds.

Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office. (2023). S.56 – An act relating to child care and early childhood education.
State of Vermont Agency of Education. (n.d.). Universal Prekindergarten: Act 166.
National Institute for Early Education Research. (2023). Vermont.
State of Vermont Agency of Education. (2019). Prekindergarten Education Study: Final Report.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (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.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Vermont

Context matters. Visit the Vermont profile page to learn more about its demographics, political landscape, early education programs, early education workforce, and funding sources and streams.

Visit the Vermont Profile Here
  • The state population is 647,064
  • The number of children age 0-4 is 28,249
  • The rural percentage is 64.9%