Alabama's state funded pre-k program, First Class, has been recognized by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for its high quality. Alabama is one of only 5 states to receive this distinction. Pre-k in Alabama is something for our state to be proud of!

The NIEER quality benchmarks are

  • Comprehensive early learning standards
  • Pre-k teachers have a bachelor's degree with specialized early childhood training
  • Assistant pre-k teachers have a Childcare Development Associate (CDA)
  • Teachers participate in substantial number of hours of professional development
  • Maximum class size is 20 or fewer
  • Staff to child ratio is 1:10 or less
  • Children receive screening, referral and support services for vision, hearing, dental, health and other support areas
  • Children are provided meals and/or snacks
  • Systems hold individual classrooms accountable and monitor to ensure quality standards are being met.

Alabama has scored a perfect "10" on these quality standards by meeting and/ or exceeding the benchmarks established by NIEER.