Document date: July 01, 2011
Released online: July 19, 2011
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.