POLL: 74% of Kentuckians support increased funding for child care, early education

Brigitte Blom Ramsey

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A large majority of Kentuckians favor increased state funding for low-income, working families to provide quality child care 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% of respondents said they would strongly or somewhat support such increased funding. The results crossed party lines with 80% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans and 74% of Independents indicating their support.

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

“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% of respondents agreed that the available of quality, affordable child care for working parents is a very or somewhat important issue for their community; 80% hold the same view of the importance of pre-kindergarten education.

The poll results also found that 76% of voters who need child care 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.

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