Access to the Illinois Preschool for All Initiative: Insights from Five Lower-Incidence Immigrant Groups in Northern Cook County

Access to the Illinois Preschool for All Initiative: Insights from Five Lower-Incidence Immigrant Groups in Northern Cook County

November 26, 2012

Abstract

A key measure of success of state prekindergarten initiatives is their ability to reach and serve children who are likely to face challenges in school. This study adds to our understanding of the challenges faced by immigrant children and families in Chicago, Illinois, by focusing on the extent to which families from smaller immigrant communities - particularly Pakistani, Nigerian, Vietnamese, Polish, and Haitian families-face barriers in accessing the Illinois prekindergarten program. Based on focus groups with parents and interviews with prekindergarten providers, this study finds a number of barriers, including lack of knowledge, language barriers, and logistical challenges around enrollment.

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