Dual-Language Learners Make Key Gains in Head Start and Public Pre-K

Date Posted: 

December 4, 2013

A comprehensive review of research on young Latino and Spanish-speaking children confirms that widely available public programs are helping dual-language learners make important academic gains. According to scientists at UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG), children who have lower English-language abilities than their peers benefit the most from programs like Head Start and public pre-k—but exactly how and why remain unanswered questions.

“We know that early childhood is a critical period for children who are dual-language learners,” said Virginia Buysse, senior scientist at FPG and lead author of the review. “Many of them face the difficult task of learning a new language while acquiring essential skills to be ready for kindergarten.”