The increasing diversity of America's young children has important implications for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. This paper summarizes recent changes in the racial and ethnic composition of young children, particularly increases in Hispanic and Asian children, as well as shifts in where young children live, with some northeastern and Midwestern states losing children while southern and southwestern states are rapidly gaining. Based on these trends and recent Urban Institute research, the paper makes four recommendations about how local Head Start practitioners can best meet the needs of today's young children and their families.
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Today, the portrait of our nation's children is
changing rapidly. Results recently released
from the 2010 Census show a dramatic
change in the racial and ethnic composition
of children, particularly increases in Hispanic
and Asian children and declines in white
children (and a slight decline nationally in
the number of black children) (Frey, 2011).
Other recent national surveys show a sharp
increase in the proportion of children, and
young children in particular, whose parents
are immigrants.Where young children live
has also changed, with some northeastern
and Midwestern states losing children while
southern and southwestern states are rapidly
gaining (Fortuny, Hernandez,& Chaudry,
2010; Frey, 2011).
Head Start and Early Head Start programs
have always understood that high-quality
services are grounded in a thorough understanding
of the children and families in their
communities. This article briefly summarizes
the major changes in the population of young
children and makes four recommendations
for local programs.
End of excerpt. The entire briefing is available in PDF format.