State-funded programs meant to expand preschool opportunities for low-income children largely ignore middle-class families, with research indicating that 700,000 such families in 20 states are experiencing a pre-K economic pinch. "This issue has been more or less ignored," said report author Albert Wat of the advocacy group Pre-K Now. "When we talk about the middle-class squeeze, most of the attention has been about college tuition but less has been said about middle-class families who are struggling to pay for early education."

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