We know that quality pre-K matters for success in school and life. Yet, a large segment of middle-class families earn too much to qualify for state-funded early learning programs, but not enough to pay for even the average private programs on their own. For these families, the rising costs of pre-K are among their top household expenses — therein lies “the pinch.”  The Pre-K Now report finds that costs and eligibility limits are shutting nearly a million kids out of effective programs. It includes recommendations to states and policymakers, such as considering eligibility factors outside of income, like single-parent status and military connection.