Dimensions of Equity

High-Quality Early Learning

The Vision

Each student—including students with higher needs and students of color—has access to high-quality preschool programs that meet their needs, so all students can reach high standards and thrive

Sample Questions to Ask

  • What are the rates of pre-K enrollment and attendance in our district?
  • What are the evaluation scores for pre-K programs in our district, based on standards such as those from the National Association for the Education of Young Children or the National Institute for Early Education Research?
  • How do the rates of pre-K enrollment and attendance in highly rated pre-K programs vary across student groups in our district?

See our DIY District Diagnostic for more examples and recommendations about the types of data to look at.

Common Causes of Inequity

  • Insufficient Funding: When overall funding levels are insufficient, inflexible, or not transparent, it can limit a districts’ capacity to provide enough preschool programs for students and families.
  • Inaccessible Programs: Due to inaccessible application processes, inconvenient locations, or insufficient hours, districts may struggle to provide high-quality preschool to all families of 3- and 4-year-olds.
  • Lack of Empowering, Rigorous Content: When the content students learn in preschool is not coordinate with elementary schools, is not culturally or linguistically relevant, or is not developmentally appropriate, students may not be set up for success in their later educational experiences.

See our District Guidebook for more root causes and action steps to address inequities.

Related Dimensions

No single dimension of education resource equity can unlock every student’s potential—but when dimensions are combined to meet students’ distinct needs, they are a strong foundation for unlocking better, more equitable experiences in school.

While all other dimensions are closely related to early learning, one example to explore might be Teaching Quality and Diversity dimension because preschool programs need high-quality and diverse teachers to meet students’ individual needs.


Use our Resource Equity Toolkit to learn more, start a conversation, and take action in your community.

The Education Combination

Learn about education resource equity by discovering 10 dimensions that unlock better, more equitable experiences in school for all students.

Diagnostic Tool And Supports

Identify strengths and gaps in your school system across all 10 dimensions.


Explore underlying causes of your school system’s challenges and possible actions to improve students’ experiences in school.