The growth in public preschool education is based on research that shows high-quality pre-kindergarten has a positive effect on childrenâ€™s chances of succeeding in school and life. Beneath the surface of this growth, however, lies a troubling lag in preschool education participation by the nationâ€™s largest, fastest growing and yet most educationally challenged groupâ€”Hispanic children, who may be challenged by issues of poverty and language. Many Hispanic children enter school well behind their non-Hispanic counterparts, achieve at lower levels throughout school and graduate at lower rates.
The gap in school readiness is unlikely to improve unless we address it with policies that increase preschool participation by Hispanic children and design programs that better accommodate their learning needs. Doing so may well entail rethinking the current approach to many programs.
Ainsworth, P. & Laosa, L.M. (2007). Is Public Pre-K Preparing Hispanic Children to Succeed in School? National Institute for Early Education Research.