Hundreds of five-year-olds in the Northern Marianas are believed not to be enrolled in any formal pre-school programme.
The Education Commissioner Rita Sablan says this means these children are not prepared for first grade, resulting in a delay in their cognitive development.
She says because of this, the Public School System is developing a plan covering children from birth.
Each school year, the public system accommodates about 600 kindergarten-age children on Saipan, Tinian and Rota.
Only a few schools, however, have full-day sessions, with the rest having half-day sessions.
She says the biggest challenge for the school system is finding the funds to make kindergarten available to all children.