The State Education Department says enrollment in pre-kindergarten education has more than quadrupled in the last five years. The figures do not include children in private day care programs. Enrollment last year totalled almost 18,000 children.
A spokesman for a national pre-kindergarten movement says Missouri’s results are part of a national trend probably fueled by the infusion of one-billion new dollars going into the program. She also says more parents are putting their children into the programs and more states are contributing funding for the programs.