From Trauma to Development: A Policy Agenda for an Equitable Future for Young Children of Immigrants

May 19, 2022 | by
  • Description

By 2025, children of immigrants will make up nearly one-third of the U.S. child population. More than 94 percent of children of immigrants under the age of six are U.S. citizens, symbolizing a shift in the face of the nation. The ability of young children to learn, grow, and succeed defines what our nation will become, and yet, children of immigrants often lack the necessary resources to grow to their full potential. Additionally, due to a host of factors including their parents' journeys to the United States, socioeconomic status, citizenship status, language fluency, and the disruptions and destabilizations of the COVID-19 pandemic, the children of immigrants are also coping with trauma that, without proper resources and care, could leave them struggling throughout their whole lives. Relying on interviews with immigrant parents, experts, and advocates in the immigrant and child advocacy spaces, as well as a growing body of early education research, this report summarizes the barriers to learning, growth, and development for young children of immigrants and the policy solutions--like access to early education tailored to their families' particular needs--that could help them to overcome not only the social, educational, and economic barriers they face, but also to heal from trauma and live happy, healthy lives in the United States.