New research from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families finds that early care and education use is rising among low-income Hispanic families.
Their latest brief, Access to Early Care and Education for Low-Income Hispanic Children and Families: A Research Synthesis, describes this trend and the ways in which Hispanic households may benefit from public, high-quality ECE investments.
Specifically, the brief synthesizes the latest research on early childhood learning and care for low-income Hispanic children and families and seeks to answer three broad questions:
- What is known about the child, family and household factors that shape ECE access for low-income Hispanic families with young children from birth to age 5?
- How do community contexts, such as the supply of available ECE providers or the presence and strength of social networks, impact Hispanic households’ use of ECE?
- How do local, state, and federal policy contexts serve to potentially constrain or facilitate Hispanic families’ ECE access?
The Center found that ECE utilization patterns among low-income Hispanic families are changing. Research studies find that while ECE access is higher today for low-come Hispanics than in the past, some subgroups of Hispanics are likely encountering challenges or barriers to entry. For example, some providers may not provide non-standard schedules, or families may not have the resources or information they need to access high-quality care.
Another key finding shows social and economic stressors can affect families’ use of these programs. For example, families with non-standard work hours may need to make several arrangements across a variety of providers in order to find proper early childhood education and care for their children.
Nevertheless, the Center believes policymakers and providers have a role to play in better serving these populations, whether it be increased investments or greater education and outreach to inform families of high-quality ECE options.
To learn more, read the full brief here.