E.g., 10/20/2014
E.g., 10/20/2014

Early Education for Immigrant Children

Reports
September 2007

Early Education for Immigrant Children

This policy brief outlines the causes of educational disadvantage among young children of immigrants and explores strategies for improving their educational and socioeconomic outlook. The author evaluates the effectiveness of four early childhood education program models—child-focused, center-based formal education programs; child-focused, home-based education services; family-focused parenting support services; and combination center-based education programs with supplemental family-focused services—towards this end, and identifies the most promising policy directives, as well as existing and anticipated obstacles to their implementation. 

In terms of both short- and long-term academic outcomes, the author finds that combination program models that deliver both child- and family-focused services demonstrate the most success, followed by center-based instructional programs as the next best option. However, evidence shows that the cognitive and language benefits of these programs vary largely depending on their instructional design and structural quality. Furthermore, the most effective programs are seemingly the least accessible to immigrant families due to high costs, cultural discrepancies, and inconvenience.

Policy recommendations outlined in the brief seek to address these issues by implementing equal-quality regulations for early childhood education programs and eliminating barriers to participation. Proposals include integrating early-education programs into the primary schooling system, accounting for diverse family needs within the program design, and subsidizing the cost of services.