Barriers and Opportunities: Helping Smaller Immigrant Communities Access the Illinois Preschool for All Program

Research Report

Barriers and Opportunities: Helping Smaller Immigrant Communities Access the Illinois Preschool for All Program

November 26, 2012

Abstract

State prekindergarten initiatives can only succeed if they actually reach at-risk children. This brief summarizes findings from two studies around prekindergarten access for smaller immigrant populations. One study examines the extent to which Pakistani, Nigerian, Vietnamese, Polish, and Haitian families face barriers in accessing the Illinois prekindergarten program; it finds barriers such as lack of knowledge of the program, language barriers, and enrollment challenges. The second presents findings from focus groups of community-based organizations serving smaller immigrant populations in the Chicago metro area, and identifies a number of strategies that could be employed to support prekindergarten participation among immigrant families.

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