Index: Education / Subcategory: Early Childhood

Preschool Enrollment

Date updated: 11/14/2012

The information presented below was obtained from the American Community Survey, which replaced the long-form Census beginning in 2003. Instead of one, point-in-time survey, the American Community Survey (ACS) sends out thousands of surveys every month throughout the year.

The ACS asks respondents, 'At any time in the last 3 months, has this person attended school?'. Because surveys are sent out on a monthly schedule, some of the data shown below will refer to the previous year.

Schools supported and controlled primarily by a local, county, state or federal government are defined as public. Those supported and controlled primarily by religious organizations or for-profit institutions are considered private.

What this chart shows: Percentage of 3- and 4-Year Olds Enrolled in Preschool in Larimer County, 2005-2011

Data Source: American Community Survey (Table S1401)

See data table

What the above data tell us:

In two of the last seven years (2005 and 2007), the percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds in Larimer County enrolled in preschool was below 50%. The 7-year average of 52.7% was above the average for the nation (47.8%) and the state (46.4%).

Caution should be exercised in using these annual statistics because the margin of error runs between +/-8.2% (2006) and +/-12.0% (2011).

Some of the benefits [pdf] of enrolling children in preschool include higher test scores, better social skills, and higher graduation rates. In 2011, Colorado [pdf] was ranked 21st in the nation for four-year-olds and 11th for three-year-olds enrolled in a pre-kindergarten, Head Start, or IDEA Preschool grant program, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. In 2010, 26% of Colorado's three- and four-year-olds attended a preschool program. Florida [pdf] was ranked first in the country for the number of four-year-olds (76%) enrolled in state preschool.

What this chart shows: Percentage of Larimer County 3- and 4-Year Olds Enrolled in School by Type of Preschool, 2005-2011

Data Source: American Community Survey (Table S1401)

See data table

What the above data tell us:

On average, less than one-third of enrolled preschoolers (29%) were in a public preschool such as Head Start over the last 7 years. The availability of funding is often cited as the primary reason for not having more children enrolled in public preschool.

What this chart shows: Percentage of 3- and 4-Year Olds Enrolled in Preschool in Fort Collins and Loveland, 2008-2011

Data Source: American Community Survey (Table S1401)

See data table

What the above data tell us:

Since 2008, the percentage of 3- and 4-year olds enrolled in preschool has declined roughly 19% in Fort Collins and 26% in Loveland. It is possible that the recession is responsible for the decline as parents who are not working have limited resources to spend on preschool.

What this chart shows: Percentage of 3- and 4-Year Olds Enrolled in School by Type of Preschool in Fort Collins & Loveland, 2009-2011 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates

Data Source: American Community Survey (Table S1401)

See data table

What the above data tell us:

According to the 2009-2011 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates, there were slightly more 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in public preschools in Loveland (29.0%) compared to Fort Collins (26.1%).

Additional Information:

Related Information on COMPASS -

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Industry Standards or Target: N/A

Data Tables:

3- and 4-Year Olds Enrolled in
Preschool in Larimer County

Percentage Enrolled

2005

42.6%

2006

56.4%

2007

41.8%

2008

64.8%

2009

58.3%

2010

53.7%

2011

51.3%

See chart

Percentage of 3- and 4-Year Olds Enrolled in Preschool in Larimer County

Public Preschool

Private Preschool

2005

28.5% 71.5%

2006

35.2% 64.8%

2007

29.3% 70.7%

2008

29.9% 70.1%

2009

39.5% 60.5%

2010

17.9% 82.1%

2011

22.5% 77.5%

See chart

3- and 4-Year Olds Enrolled in Preschool in Fort Collins & Loveland

Fort Collins

Loveland

2008

62.8% 64.2%

2009

59.7% 59.4%

2010

55.1% 52.6%

2011

50.8% 47.5%

See chart

Percentage of 3- and 4-Year Olds Enrolled in Preschool in Larimer County
2009-2011 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates

Public Preschool

Private Preschool

Fort Collins

26.1% 73.9%

Loveland

29.0% 71.0%

See chart