Early Care and Education for Children in Immigrant Families

Lynn Karoly and Gabriella Gonzalez examine the current role of and future potential for early care and education (ECE) programs in promoting healthy development for immigrant children. Participation in center-based care and preschool programs has been shown to have substantial short–term benefits and may also lead to long–term gains as children go through school and enter adulthood. Yet, overall, immigrant children have lower rates of participation in nonparental care of any type, including center-based ECE programs, than their native counterparts. Much of the participation gap can be explained by just a few economic and sociodemographic factors: affordability, availability, and access to ECE programs, along with language barriers, bureaucratic complexity, and distrust of government programs, especially among undocumented immigrants. The authors conclude with suggestions for policymakers for improving ECE participation rates among immigrant children.


Karoly, L., Gonzalez, G. (2011). "Early Care and Education for Children in Immigrant Families." Immigrant Children 21 (1). The Future of Children. Retrieved from: http://www.futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/journals/article/index.xml?journalid=74&articleid=541.