Perceptions of East Coast Migrant Head Start Programs and Multilingual Families' Communication


  • Tricia Clarke Fordham University
  • Robert Niewiadomski Fordham University
  • Ana De Jesus Fordham University
  • Lovell Quiroz Fordham University
  • Xueyi Luo Fordham University
  • Yimeng Li Fordham University
  • Yidan Shao Fordham University
  • Diane Rodriguez Fordham University


multilingual education, early childhood education, migrant families, Head Start multilingual programs


Multilingual families experience unique barriers as they seek to partner with schools to educate their children. This research study explored parents’ perceptions of access to multilingual early childhood programs and their perception of the communication process between multiple stakeholders of an early childhood program in their rural multilingual community. Data were collected from forty-two families in a rural multilingual community in North Carolina with and without children in an early childhood Head Start Program, using surveys and focus group interviews in Spanish and English. Results revealed that most families believe they have access to the Head Start program and a positive perception of the communication processes. However, barriers related to enrollment and cultural and linguistic issues persist. This study has implications for multilingual families’ access to early childhood programs, such as Head Start programs, and their children’s future career and life prospects.






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