In South Dakota, 1,267 children under the age of three are enrolled in Early Head Start programs, and 1,826 3-year-olds and 2,586 4-year olds are enrolled in Head Start programs. According to the U.S. Department of Education, nearly 3,000 students are enrolled in district operated preschool programs. Even though South Dakota does not have a state-run early childhood program, leaders are moving toward embracing quality standards and alignment between preschool and K-12 systems by aligning its Early Learning and Kindergarten Guidelines. Meanwhile, a pilot program in Rapid City is already producing promising results with participating children demonstrating gains in language skills. The average annual cost of center-based infant care in the state is $6,071.