Reporter: Aaron Brackett
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - In just a few weeks, children will be playing on swings and slides as they begin preschool, but according to a study, nearly 1 in 4 will get that opportunity.
At a young age, kids minds are sponges hungry for information. Story time and letters pieced together are building blocks for success later in life according to licensed childcare provider Donna Guillen.
"Without preschool they are going to miss out on a lot, said Gullien. "There is so much before school that maybe some parents overlook, they get experiences and socialize with children which is so important."
A new study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds Arizona is among the worst for childhood development with a staggering 68% of kids not going to preschool.
One child development expert says the problem digs deeper than parents just not wanting to put their kids in preschool -- many can't.
"Going to preschool is not cheap," explains Dr. Eric Schindler. "In the past, states would provide money for the working poor to provide scholarships to help cover the cost of childcare -- and Arizona cut back."
According to Dr. Schindler, the roots for success begin before age 5 -- roots people like Donna Gullien help to grow.
"I think it's a shame because they gain so much from it," said Gullien. "We as caregivers learn from them every day and we are missing out on their experiences as well, so I do think its important that they have experiences before they go to school."