Oregon: 2nd Most Costly Preschools

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Mon, April 29 2013 at 7:09 PM, Updated: Mon, April 29 2013 at 7:32 PM

Father Matt Warshawsky has enrolled his little one into preschool. He's trying to make sure she is prepared for the future.

"I felt it gave her an advantage," said Warshawsky.

However, not all kids are so fortunate. According to a brand new report, a smaller percentage of kids in Oregon are getting a leg-up on their pre-kindergarten education when compared with other states.

"The years between birth and age five are really significant in predicting academic outcomes for children," said Dr. Phil Long, Superintendent of the Medford School District.

What's interesting is Oregon reportedly operates the second most expensive pre-schools in the country.      

While the report says the quality of education is there, not many kids are accessing it.

"There's not a lot of affordable childcare programs available in our state," said Erin Wilder, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Development at Southern Oregon University.

"The cost can be very prohibitive to families because it's just so expensive to send your children to care," Wilder continued.

Erin Wilder is also a mother of two and after learning just about seven percent of three and four year olds in Oregon state are reportedly enrolled in pre-school.

"It says that we're not funding early childhood education enough, because if we were funding it, there would be better access for kids."

According to the study, Oregon ranks number 30 out of 40 states with preschool programs when it comes to access to early education.

"If the community, the society, the state could come up with a way of helping people that can't necessarily afford it...it would be a benefit all the way around," said Warshawsky.

It's not all bad news. According to the study, Oregon was one of six states to increase enrollment of three-year-olds from the previous year. 

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About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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