Children Ages 3 and 4 Enrolled in Preschool

Early childhood education plays an important role in establishing academic foundations and future educational outcomes. Preschool enrollment for 3- and 4-year-olds is important for enabling them to enter kindergarten at the same level as their peers. The first years of a child’s schooling are very influential on their educational trajectory. Preschool enrollment is strongly associated with the educational attainment of caregivers. Those who have lower levels of educational attainment are less likely to enroll their own child in preschool.

Peer City Perspective

Louisville currently ranks 14th among its peer cities in rates of preschool enrollment, with 38.4% of children ages 3 and 4 enrolled in preschool.

Louisville is in the bottom cluster of its peer group according to a natural breaks algorithm. Cities in green are those that outperform their peers, cities in yellow represent the middle cluster, and those in red lag behind their peers on this indicator.

Where are Children Ages 3 and 4 Enrolled in Preschool? 

Fewer than 40% of Louisville children ages 3 and 4 are enrolled in preschool. In the map to the left, areas where more children ages 3 and 4 are enrolled in preschool are purple, while areas where fewer children ages 3 and 4 are enrolled in preschool are white. There are more 3- and 4-year olds enrolled in preschool east of I-65.

The Highlands has the highest concentration of children ages 3 and 4 enrolled in preschool, with over 72% of children enrolled. Conversely, the lowest concentration of of children ages 3 and 4 enrolled in preschool is located downtown, near the University of Louisville, where fewer than 11% of children ages 3 and 4 enrolled.

Scroll over the map to see values for each neighborhood. Zoom in to see street names that form that boundaries of each neighborhood.


Trends over time

Preschool enrollment in Louisville has decreased from 56% in 2000 to near the peer city mean of 45%. While the peer city average has remained largely stagnant since 2007, Louisville’s preschool enrollment has decreased substantially.

Comparison Between the Most and Least Improved Cities

The percentage of children ages 3 and 4 enrolled in preschool has fallen in all peer cities since 2000. Knoxville, the most improved city, has seen a resurgence in preschool enrollment over the past few years. Louisville, on the other hand, has seen a decrease over the same time frame.

Differences by Sex

Since 2012, more females have been enrolled in preschool than males, though the gap between the groups is closing.

Differences by Race

Unfortunately, the number of children in Louisville ages 3 and 4 is too small for us to draw reliable conclusions over time by race. Combining data from 2015 to 2019, we calculate that the percent of Black children ages 3 and 4 enrolled in preschool was likely between 25% and 40% over those five years. Our estimate for all children enrolled in preschool over the same timeframe is between 39% and 47%. We calculate these numbers using a 90% confidence interval, meaning that there is a 9 in 10 chance the true number is within each range and a 1 in 10 chance the number lies outside of each range.