Over the past decade, public investments in early childhood education have increased, and policymakers have focused on creating high-quality, sustainable preschool programs. However, largely missing from early childhood policy discussions is consideration of classroom diversity and how it affects the equity, quality, and sustainability of preschool programs. Studies have shown that socioeconomically and racially diverse preschool classrooms offer important cognitive and social benefits for children, but few children enrolled in public preschool programs have access to these types of classrooms.

A Better Start: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education summarizes what we know about racial and economic diversity in Head Start and state pre-K classrooms, discusses how diversity and quality are linked, and recommends steps policymakers can take to increase diversity in preschool classrooms.