Preparing the Future Workforce: Early Care and Education Participation among Children of Immigrants

Erica Greenberg, Victoria Rosenboom & Gina Adams
Date of Publication: 
March, 2019
Source Organization: 
Urban Institute

Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs such as Head Start and prekindergarten are crucial in supporting school readiness and ensuring successful long-term learning outcomes, yet children of immigrants take part in these programs less frequently than their peers with U.S.-born parents. Preparing the Future Workforce: Early Care and Education among Children of Immigrants, published by the Urban Institute, examines efforts to reverse this trend, and looks at how access to early childhood educational programs will impact the future workforce of the United States. Approximately one out of every four children in the country has an immigrant parent and so they will make up a substantial share of the future workforce. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, the report suggests that multiple barriers to ECE access prevent immigrant parents from enrolling their children in programs, leaving them at a disadvantage when they begin kindergarten. Barriers include language gaps, access to social welfare programs, and lack of information on available ECE opportunities and eligibility for immigrant families. Furthermore, children of immigrants who can access ECE programs show significant gains in reading, writing and math. The article notes that outreach and mentoring programs and greater bilingual access in schools are closing the learning outcomes gap, and suggests that programs build on these successes in order to prepare the future workforce. (Clare Maxwell for The ILC Public Education Institute)

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Greenberg, E., Rosenboom, V., & Adams, G. (2019). Preparing the future workforce: Early care and education participation among children of immigrants. Retrieved from