Boston Catholic Schools Preschool Enrollment Surge

Catholic schools in the Boston area that for decades have been struggling with declining student populations are suddenly seeing a surge in the number of preschoolers enrolled.

Enrollment in Catholic preschool classes this year is up nearly 14 percent over last year and 22 percent over five years ago. Many parochial schools are adding new classes for 3- and 4-year-olds, and some new Catholic preschools have opened in response to demand.

Boston Catholic school superintendent Chris Fliger says catholic pre-schools are popular because they cost less than other child care programs. But Fliger says the revenue is not helping the church's bottom line.

"It costs more to educate an age three or age four student, because you want more teachers in the classroom," he says. "The cost we're charging for preschool is adequate to cover the cost of the preschool education."

The archdiocese hopes the preschool students will enter Catholic elementary and high schools to stop the overall decline in Catholic school enrollment.

This program aired on November 30, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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