Why Isn’t Johnny in Preschool

5000 Parent-to-Parent Interviews Uncover Barriers to Access

Low-income African American and Latina mothers and grandmothers, members of the citywide organizing group POWER-PAC, went door-to-door in 19 low- and moderate-income communities over the past two years and interviewed over 5,000 parents and caregivers to find out why participation in early childhood education programs is so low. In their research they found 40 to 64 percent of preschool-aged children were not enrolled in preschool or Head Start.

Even though Illinois is a nationwide leader in creating high quality early education programs and guaranteeing access for low-income children, alarming numbers of eligible children in Chicago are not enrolled in preschool. Why Isn’t Johnny in Preschool?” a report produced by POWER-PAC (Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew – Policy Action Council) sheds light on the question of why so many preschool-eligible children are not enrolled and presents recommendations for policy changes to address these barriers.