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January/February 2017Vol. 17, No. 10Using Data to Study Use of Early Childhood Programs by Hispanic Families

A webinar hosted by the Research Connections and the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families focused on accessing the quality, research-based information on the characteristics, experiences, and diversity of Hispanic children and families that can inform programs and policies that support better utilization of early care and education (ECE) services. The webinar was intended to help researchers learn about several new ECE data resources.

Approximately one in four children in the United States is Hispanic, and that number is expected to rise to one in three by 2050. With nearly two-thirds of Hispanic children living in low-income households and one-third living in poverty, it is clear that many of these children are in economic need. Yet, data show that Hispanics, particularly those in immigrant families, are less likely than any other racial/ethnic group to participate in government support programs.

Although Hispanic enrollment in ECE programs has increased significantly over the past decade (from 39 percent in 2007 to 52 percent in 2012), particularly for preschool-aged children, studies show that fewer Hispanic children participate in ECE than children from any other minority group. Webinar presenters discussed the necessity and value of ECE for low-income Hispanic families, introduced four ECE data briefs, and described the data sets that were included. The issue briefs discuss the use of large-scale data to study ECE participation among Hispanics for these specific topics:

  • How Hispanic parents experience ECE settings
  • Families' utilization of ECE
  • How Hispanic families seek out and select ECE settings
  • Project overview and methodology

A description of the presentation and links to the webinar, "Finding and Exploring Existing Large-Scale Data to Study Early Care and Education Among Hispanics," and the issue briefs can be found on the Research Connections website available at