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Research Shows Early Care and Education Use is Rising Among Low-Income Hispanic Families

Resource September 27, 2018

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.

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