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Center-based preschool and school readiness skills of children from immigrant families

Resource Type: Reports & Papers
Author(s): Votruba-Drzal, Elizabeth; Coley, Rebekah Levine; Collins, Melissa A.; Miller, Portia;
Date Issued: May, 2015
Description: Children from immigrant families are more likely than children of native parents to start school with fewer of the academic skills that are important for long-term success, although evidence on behavioral skills is mixed. Center-based early education and care (EEC) programs, which have been linked to improvements in academic functioning in disadvantaged samples, may serve as a potent resource for children from immigrant families, but important questions remain about their benefits and drawbacks for academic and behavioral outcomes across the diverse population of children from immigrant families. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (N [is approximately] 6,550), this study examined prospective associations between center-based EEC at age 4 and school readiness skills at age 5 among children from immigrant families. Practice or Policy: The results suggest that center-based EEC is associated with heightened math, reading, and expressive language skills and also with lower parent-rated externalizing behaviors for children of immigrants in comparison to children of native parents. Results also revealed heterogeneity in associations between center-based EEC attendance and school readiness skills among children of immigrants based on parental region of origin, household language use, and the language used in EEC settings. (author abstract)
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