Survey of Seattle parents finds wide support for high-quality, affordable preschool


Council President Tim Burgess

Survey of Seattle parents finds wide support for high-quality, affordable preschool

SEATTLECity Council heard findings today demonstrating wide support for elements included in the Seattle Preschool Program based on a survey of over 1,300 Seattle parents. Conducted by EMC Research, the survey found 96% of the parents believe that every child should have the opportunity for high-quality preschool regardless of family income, and 90% agree that government should help families pay for high-quality preschool.

The survey also found only 33% of parents had their children in full time preschool and Hispanics, African-Americans, and parents living in lower income communities were less likely to have sent their children to preschool.

"We found that, regardless of background or neighborhood, affordability and quality are what parents most want in a preschool program, which directly aligns with the outcomes the Seattle Preschool Program will deliver," said Council President Tim Burgess. "Closing the opportunity gap for those most in need should be a top priority."

The survey was conducted to obtain substantive input from a wide range of parents and guardians. The Council also sought to discover why the respondents’ children do or do not attend preschool and how many of those whose children do not currently attend preschool would likely enroll their children if high-quality preschool were available and affordable. The survey, authorized by City Council Resolution 31478, was part of a comprehensive outreach strategy to inform the development of the Seattle Preschool Program, which included input from stakeholder workgroups and other feedback from the community.

The findings were based on a live telephone survey of 1,301 of parents/guardians with children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade enrolled in Seattle Public Schools conducted March 4-23, 2014. The margin of error for the overall results is ±2.7 percentage points at a 95% confidence interval. Unlike most surveys of only 400 or so residents surveyed in English, this preschool survey surveyed three times that number and conducted interviews in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali and Cantonese. Nearly one-third (32%) of the respondents were born outside of the United States.

The complete poll results are available here.

[View in Council Newsroom]