Effective Systems

Equal From The Start: Promoting Educational Opportunity for All Preschool Children – Learning from the French Experience


This report focuses attention on how France, building on a strong foundation of a universal pre-elementary school system, is providing earlier access and more resources to low-income and immigrant children who are at risk for educational underachievement by investing additional resources in écoles maternelles located in education priority zones or ZEPs.

As the United States seeks to address the dual challenges of helping the growing number of children being raised in immigrant families and reducing the persistent inequalities in the educational attainment of children from lower-income families, the preschools in the ZEPs offer a new lens through which to view the current chaotic situation of pre-elementary education in the United States.