A discovery preschool teacher reads to her class in September 2014 at the Middletown KinderCare center in New Jersey.
A discovery preschool teacher reads to her class in September 2014 at the Middletown KinderCare center in New Jersey. - 
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Marketplace

When it comes to economic mobility, the traditional path to betterment is often education.

Education has, for many people, been the key to higher earnings and higher social status. These days, it seems quality education can't start early enough: parents jockey for spots for their toddlers in top schools and politicians debate the merits of universal pre-K.

But for all of the talk about early childhood education, not all that many kids are getting it.

Earlier this year, Education Week released its annual report card on the state of American education. When it comes to our youngest students, the country earned a D+. Less than half of 3- and 4-year-olds are currently enrolled in preschool.

Marketplace's education correspondent Amy Scott spoke with Marketplace Weekend about how early childhood education impacts future economic mobility. 

Listen to the full interview in the media player above.