Policy Brief/Analysis

Preparing Young Hispanic Dual Language Learners for a Knowledge Economy

By Alexandra Figueras-Daniel and W. Steven Barnett

NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 24, January 2013)


As the United States works to reclaim economic prosperity, the Hispanic population – with the largest growth in population over the last decade – will likely play a key role in any economic resurgence.  Educational success is a crucial part of economic recovery.  While statistics on the educational success of Hispanic children are hardly encouraging, high-quality early education programs, especially models that promote language proficiency, have the potential to increase their educational success.  This brief addresses issues of preschool access and quality that are specific to Hispanic children but which can also apply to some other largely disadvantaged and immigrant groups.

The Authors

Dr. Figueras-Daniel was awarded a Young Scholars Program grant from the Foundation for Child Development to investigate coaching and professional development of Latina preschool teachers working with DLLs. At NIEER, she leads this study as well a project to develop a Latina leadership pipeline in ECE.

W. Steven (Steve) Barnett is a Board of Governors Professor and the founder and Senior Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. Dr. Barnett’s work primarily focuses on public policies regarding early childhood education, child care, and child development.