NC Pre-K One of Six State Programs in Nation to Meet All NIEER Quality Benchmarks

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North Carolina’s NC Pre-K is once again rated among the highest in the nation. It is one of only six state programs to meet all 10 NIEER quality preschool benchmarks, according to the State of Preschool 2014 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


Other North Carolina highlights:

  • NC ranks 24th in the percentage of four-year-olds enrolled (21.2%). The District of Columbia (98.6%) leads the nation, followed by Vermont (90.6%) and Florida (79.5%).
  • State spending per child rose by $166 in 2013-2014, and the state now ranks 14th nationally on this measure. The District of Columbia leads the nation followed by New Jersey.

The report also found that total state preschool enrollment rose in 2013-2014, after declining for the first time the previous year. Nationally, 8,535 more children attended state-funded pre-K in 2013-2014 than in 2012-1013.

In North Carolina, after several years of decline, funding levels for NC Pre-K have have increased over the past three years. However, state funding has not returned to pre-recession levels. (See our Early Childhood Budget Trends Analysis.)

State Funding History of NC Pre-K (rounded to millions)
State Funding History of NC Pre-K (rounded to millions)

Download the North Carolina State of Preschool 2014 Fact Sheet.