Children And Education


Prekindergarten Participation

What does this measure?

The number of children ages 3 or 4 enrolled in public pre-kindergarten education programs, expressed as a percentage of all children ages 3 or 4.

Why is this important?

Early emphasis on reading, numeracy and social skills prepares children to succeed in kindergarten and lays the foundation for success throughout their educational careers.

How does our county compare?

In 2019, 14% of Lancaster County 3- and 4-year-olds were enrolled in a pre-kindergarten program, lower than the Pennsylvania rate of 23%. Participation in Lancaster has increased 5 percentage points since 2007, similar to the increase at the state level.

Enrollment in Lancaster County in 2019 was higher than Chester (9%), York (11%), and Cumberland (12%) counties, but less than Dauphin (27%), Lebanon (23%) and Berks (20%). Of surrounding counties, Berks has seen the largest increase in enrollment (10 percentage points) since 2007.

Notes about the data

Data are from KidsCount. Includes the unduplicated count of PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program and Child Care Works enrollments in Keystone STARS 3 and 4; Head Start; public school pre-k. The Pennsylvania increase in enrollment in 2016-17 is in part driven by the creation and launch of the public PHLpreK program in Philadelphia.

Prekindergarten Participation
Lancaster County9%12%11%11%10%10%10%11%11%12%15%17%14%11%14%13%
Berks County10%12%12%12%12%13%12%15%14%16%18%21%20%19%18%20%
Chester County3%4%4%4%4%4%4%7%7%7%8%10%9%8%8%8%
Cumberland County3%5%4%4%4%4%4%4%5%7%7%12%12%11%11%12%
Dauphin County19%26%22%18%18%18%18%19%19%25%29%25%27%22%24%20%
Lebanon County22%29%25%24%22%22%23%25%25%27%24%24%23%20%23%17%
York County5%8%8%8%8%8%8%9%9%12%12%13%11%11%12%11%

Source: KidsCount

Number of Prekindergarten Participants
Lancaster County1,2151,5381,5131,4841,4631,4221,3771,6051,5461,7362,1112,3442,0011,5912,0031,867
Berks County1,1421,2921,3101,3611,2911,3121,2781,5701,5091,7091,8592,2262,1171,9631,8982,135
Chester County4515155505085015125279449019291,0311,3281,1861,0081,0991,031
Cumberland County167217213197207231207213254369380620607600554637
Dauphin County1,2021,5871,3991,2171,1951,1841,1891,2971,2631,7042,0441,7001,8151,4521,6011,357
Lebanon County666848749739760751788871865924872835785683813576
York County5657998448339229208231,0231,0111,2911,1791,3831,2311,2301,2721,241

Source: KidsCount