Pre-K Preferences: How and Why HISD Parents Choose Pre-K Programs

Erin Baumgartner, Ph.D. & Courtney Thrash, M.A.

Pre-K Access 3: Parent Choice

Distance and program characteristics drive parental pre-kindergarten (pre-k) choice. This study reflects the third in a series of briefs examining pre-k enrollment and access for students in the Houston Independent School District (HISD).

The aims of this study are to identify characteristics that drive enrollment, understand where parents receive their information about HISD pre-k options, and understand parental beliefs about which program characteristics are most important. Findings suggest distance from home is one of the primary drivers of pre-k parental choice for their children. Additionally, program characteristics are important, specifically whether programs have highly trained teachers and teacher aides. However, variation in parental beliefs exist by language of survey participation and campus-level proportions of English-language learners (EL) or economically disadvantaged students. Parents report learning about HISD
pre-k programs through family and friends.

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