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ERIC Number: ED538872
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Latino Access to Preschool Stalls after Earlier Gains: Certain to Harden Achievement Gaps, Erode Workforce Quality. New Journalism on Latino Children
Fuller, Bruce; Kim, Anthony Y.
Institute of Human Development (NJ1)
It has been known that quality preschool can boost children's early literacy and social agility, skills valued highly by employers. The returns to preschool appear to be stronger for Latino children, especially those from non-English speaking families, compared with other populations. But newly available data reveal that preschool enrollment rates--already low for Latino youngsters--have stalled after climbing steadily since the 1980s. Given these persisting disparities in preschool access, narrowing early achievement gaps in the public schools will be difficult. These numbers do exhibit good news: equalizing preschool opportunities for Black children. Still, shortfalls in preschool quality may constrain benefits for Black and Latino children. Over the next two generations, by 2050, one-third of all Americans will be of Latino heritage. This population will be young and perhaps weakly schooled--all retirees will depend upon the productivity of Latino workers to finance pensions, staff medical clinics, and serve the elderly. Preschool alone, of course, will not ensure that Latino graduates acquire the literacy skills and social competencies required of a vibrant workforce and invigorating civil society. But quality early education is among the most effective public initiatives to arise over the past half century. Until Latino children gain equal access to preschools that display robust quality it's difficult to see how early achievement gaps can be narrowed, or how educators can stem the alienating effects of schooling felt by many children and youths. (Contains 3 figures and 5 endnotes.)
Institute of Human Development. University of California Berkeley, 1121 Tolman Hall #1690, Berkeley, CA 94720. Tel: 510-642-7239; Fax: 510-642-7969; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: McCormick Foundation
Authoring Institution: University of California, Berkeley. Institute of Human Development (IHD)