Research Priority Areas for Understanding and Improving Access to Early Care and Education (ECE) for Children in Low-Income Hispanic Families
Despite high rates of parental employment, two-thirds of Hispanica children under age 18 live in low-income familiesb, making them a key target for public investments in ECE. A growing body of research (including work from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families) has examined the ECE needs, priorities, and experiences of low-income Hispanic families. It shows that utilization patterns are changing—particularly for preschool-aged children and for programs with public funding and/or intentional outreach. At the same time, this research highlights heterogeneity within the Hispanic population, as well as significant variation in their access to high-quality ECE. In this brief, we summarize the research implications of a recent synthesis of the literature on early care and educationc (ECE) access for low-income Hispanic families. The priority research areas detailed below can expand our understanding of key issues and inform policy and practice efforts to support equitable access to the types of ECE settings that benefit children, families, and communities.