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Equitable access to high-quality early care and education: Opportunities to better serve young Hispanic children and their families


Significant investments in public early childhood care and education (ECE) have yielded higher Hispanic enrollment in preschool-age programs, but progress has been uneven and inconsistent, especially for the youngest Hispanic children and low-income families. We review how ECE has contributed to Hispanic children’s development, offering a detailed review of Hispanic children’s participation in ECE, including evidence of effectiveness from ECE programs such as Early Head Start and Head Start, and state pre-K programs. We conclude with a discussion of why Hispanic children remain underserved by ECE and what policy changes could increase participation in these programs among Hispanics. We argue for expansion of established high-quality ECE into Hispanic-dense communities, for strategies that enroll and retain Latino children in ECE in ways that are family-centered and culturally responsive, and that ECE must adapt to better serve Hispanic families and dual language learners who require culturally appropriate pedagogy. (author abstract)

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