New Education Report Uncovers Pressing Need for Quality Programs and Funding to Support the Integration and Success of New York’s Young Children and Their Immigrant Families

The report includes recommendations to invest $25 million in Adult Literacy Education and increase access to home visiting programs for immigrant families to address the early childhood education needs of a growing number of children and their parents.

New York, NY—The New York Immigration Coalition today released a new report entitled 43% and Growing: Young Children from Immigrant Families in New York and How to Support their Success. The report’s findings come as New York’s immigrant families grapple with a Federal Administration that is deeply hostile towards them and intent on creating additional challenges to successful integration. Drawing on interviews conducted across the state, the paper reveals the unique challenges these families face when trying to access quality early childhood programs for their young children, 0-8.
“Through interviews with families across New York, we discovered several barriers that are stopping many of our kids from achieving their potential,” said Kim Sykes, Director of Education Policy. “By following the recommendations we laid out in this report, Albany can ensure that every immigrant family can access the programs they need to thrive.”

A key finding of the report is that many of the barriers faced by young children are, in fact, barriers faced by their parents, and this is particularly true for young children from immigrant families. The report’s findings show that immigrant families with young children care deeply about their children’s development. Still, they face significant challenges navigating systems, accessing culturally and linguistically fluent programs, as well as transportation and translation/interpretation issues. In recent years, the New York State Education Department and Board of Regents have focused on young children from immigrant families—a group that makes up nearly half of New York’s young children population.

Background:

The report was written by the NYIC’s Education Policy team and is the result of regional focus groups and interviews conducted over two years that included immigrant community-based organizations (CBOs) serving a range of communities from refugees to migrants, direct service providers, and immigrant community advocates in key regions across the state, as well as education policymakers, researchers and other key stakeholders.

Recommendations:

  • Invest $25M in Adult Literacy Education and focus on two-generation approaches
  • Increase access to home visiting programs for immigrant families by expanding the MIECHV risk assessment factors to include lack of English proficiency
  • Improve language access by annually fully funding Foundation Aid to schools, by providing $1.5M to the state education department foster department-wide translation, and by sharing best practices with schools
  • Invest $1.6M for Regional Early Learning Technical Assistance Centers
  • Partner with immigrant CBOs to help families navigate enrolling in early childhood programs
  • Expand access to programs that support home language development

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