A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Prichard Committee poll shows 74% favor increased funding for quality child care, early education

A large majority of Kentuckians favor increased state funding for low-income, working families to provide quality childcare and preschool for their children, according to the second annual Education Poll of Kentucky.

The poll, which was sponsored by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, found 74 percent of respondents said they would strongly or somewhat support such increased funding.

The results crossed party lines with 80 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Independents indicating their support.

Kentucky voters also are far more likely to support a gubernatorial candidate who favors improving early learning opportunities (84 percent), favors state support for universal preschool (74 percent) and has a plan to increase student achievement in reading and math by the end of third grade (74 percent).

“These poll results make it clear that Kentuckians recognize the value and importance of quality early care and education for our children,” said Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee.

“Giving our youngest citizens the strongest possible start will establish the foundation for future academic success and a strong economy. This is a critical message for our elected leaders as they make decisions about the state budget and what programs to identify for priority funding.”

In addition, 83 percent of respondents agreed that the available of quality, affordable childcare for working parents is a very or somewhat important issue for their community; 80 percent hold the same view of the importance of pre-kindergarten education.

The poll results also found that 76 percent of voters who need childcare and preschool have difficulty finding quality programs, with cost being a primary obstacle.

“Communities must come together to innovate and build better solutions to help students succeed,” Ramsey said. “This is particularly the case in early childhood education where partnerships are so critical to increasing access and quality.”

The full poll is available online.

The poll was conducted for the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, Inc.

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