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School readiness of children from immigrant families: Contributions of region of origin, home, and childcare

Children from immigrant families make up a growing proportion of young children in the United States. This study highlights the heterogeneity in early academic skills related to parental region of origin. It also considers the contributions of early home and nonparental care settings to the diversity in early academic performance. Using nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B; N [is approximately equal to] 6,850), this study examines associations between parental region of origin and children's math and reading skills at age 5. It also considers whether home and nonparental care environments are pathways through which parental region of origin relates to academic achievement. There was significant heterogeneity in children's early reading and math skills related to parental region of origin. Children of Indian Asian and East Asian/Pacific Islander parents outscored children of native-born White parents and every other immigrant subgroup. Children of Mexican and Central American/Spanish Caribbean parents performed below other immigrant subgroups and native-born White children. Differences in child, socioeconomic, and family characteristics largely explained relations between parental region of origin and early academic skills. Indirect effects of early home environments and nonparental care played a modest but important role in explaining variability in academic skills related to region of origin. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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