Preparing the Future Workforce: Early Care and Education Participation among Children of Immigrants

Research Report

Preparing the Future Workforce: Early Care and Education Participation among Children of Immigrants

Abstract

Children of immigrants will make up a critical share of our nation’s future workforce, but they are less likely than other children to participate in early education programs known to support school readiness and long-term productivity. This study describes the characteristics and enrollment of children of immigrants using the most current and comprehensive dataset available: the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11. We find that children of immigrants tend to have fewer resources and greater need than children of US-born parents but lower rates of enrollment in center-based preschool. However, programs such as Head Start and state prekindergarten, as well as public kindergarten programs, are making progress in closing gaps in access. These findings suggest that current investments in early education are helping prepare the future workforce for success in 2050 and that expanded investments are warranted.

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