Providing a Head Start: Improving Access to Early Childhood Education for Refugees

Date published



This study by the Migration Policy Institute focuses on the importance of early childhood education, especially for refugees.

"The current research on the benefits of high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) leaves little doubt that early interventions have both short- and long-term advantages. Quality ECEC can have substantial positive impacts on young children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and language development, with long-term effects on educational achievement, occupational success, and health. These advantages are particularly critical for children with certain risk factors, such as those who belong to low-income families and have parents with limited English proficiency (LEP) and/or low educational attainment.

Forced to flee their homelands, frequently in the midst of violence, many refugees spend years in refugee camps under extremely harsh conditions, with little opportunity for educational or occupational development. Very few have the opportunity to resettle in the United States and, when they do, refugees typically arrive with few resources. For those groups at highest risk, access to ECEC programs can be particularly critical to their children’s successful adjustment and future opportunities." (Source: Migration Policy Institute)

Read the study here.

Related Area

Related countries

United States of America

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Document type

Number of pages

37 pages

Focus area

Migration and Integration
Migrant Capacities

Publisher / Organisation

JMDI publication