NC Pre-K Meets All NIEER Quality Benchmarks

Once again North Carolina is one of only five states to meet all 10 NIEER quality preschool benchmarks, according to the State of Preschool 2013 report released yesterday. The benchmarks include:

Early Learning StandardsComprehensive
Teacher DegreeBA
Teacher Specialized TrainingSpecializing in Pre-K
Assistant Teacher DegreeCDA or Equivalent
Teacher In-serviceAt Least 15 Hours/Year
Maximum Class Size (4-yr-olds)20 or Lower
Staff Child Ratio (4-yr-olds)1:10 or Better
Screening/Referral and Support ServicesVision, Hearing, Health and at Least 1 Support Service
MealsAt Least 1/Day
MonitoringSite Visits At Least Every 5 Years


Other North Carolina highlights:

  • NC ranks 20th in the percentage of four-year-olds enrolled (23%). The District of Columbia (94%) leads the nation, followed by Florida (78%) and Oklahoma (74%).
  • State spending per child fell by $281 in 2012-2013, and the state now ranks 13th nationally on this measure. The District of Columbia leads the nation followed by New Jersey.

The report also found that total state preschool enrollment declined for the first time. And, while total funding was up slightly, more than half of states with programs continued to make cuts.

Nationally, 4,000 fewer children attended state pre-K in 2012-2013 than the previous year—the first time a decline in total enrollment has been documented since NIEER began tracking state pre-K in 2002. Of the 40 states and District of Columbia with programs, 20 cut funding and 18 increased funding by more than one percent. The increases outweighed the decreases which, coupled with reduced enrollment, resulted in a net increase of $36 per child or $30.6 million, nationally.

Download the North Carolina State of Preschool 2013 Fact Sheet.