- Building trust is essential. Parents seek safe and welcoming preschool options.
- There is no one best approach. The programs we observed addressed multiple barriers to preschool access for children of immigrants, but the programs differed in which barriers they addressed and the strategies they adopted to do so.
- Start small. As immigrant families enrolled, those parents became ambassadors for the programs, and immigrant enrollment increased rapidly.
- Leverage all available resources. Program administrators leveraged staff and facilities from outside the prekindergarten system to make the best use of prekindergarten dollars.
- Preschool programs cannot do it alone. Partnerships are essential for initial program outreach and provide important supports for continued participation.
- Support the whole family. Staff connected families to community resources and collaborated with immigrant and refugee institutions.
- Commit to continuous improvement. The study sites regularly gauged families’ satisfaction, adjusted program features, and sought new resources to meet evolving needs.
- Leadership is key and can come from any level. This study focuses on school and district leaders, but state leadership in both education and immigration policy can shape families’ preschool experiences too.
- Mind the gaps. Even sites with unusually high preschool participation among immigrant families have unmet need.
- Consider preschool within the broader immigrant experience.
Read the full article on preschool for the children of immigrants by Erica Greenberg at Urban Institute
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