Skip to main content

Reducing Disparities for Latino Children and Families: A National Latino Infant Policy Agenda Provides Solutions

April 10, 2024

BUILD believes that to effectively meet the needs of young children and their families, we must recognize existing disparities, including opportunity and achievement gaps. Therefore, we see the urgent need to support policy solutions to better serve Latino infants, toddlers, and families.

At a February briefing on Capitol Hill, UnidosUS and Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors drew attention to the massive gaps for Latino children that demand policy action across education, health care, economic security, and immigration. Here are some of the alarming facts provided at the briefing, along with some relevant BUILD resources:

  • More than half of Latino families have never sent their youngest child to child care. One in three of them cite cost as the reason. One in four Latinos has been unable to work due to a lack of affordable child care.
  • Nearly 20 percent of Latinos lack health insurance, compared to 5 percent of non-Hispanic whites. And one in five Latino households has faced hunger.
  • 27 percent of Latino children live in poverty, compared to 9 percent of white children.
  • Almost 40 percent of Latino families that have received speech therapy have received the advice to stop speaking Spanish to their children. This advice contradicts the research evidence. Read some BUILD resources on supporting emerging bilingual learners and their families here.

Their recommendations to tackle disparities include the following:

  1. Improve access to high-quality, culturally responsive early childhood programs.
  2. Increase salaries, diversify, and train the early childhood workforce on dual language development.
  3. Promote family engagement and home visiting efforts that are respectful of home languages.
  4. Expand health care access, including mental health care.
  5. Address food insecurity among Latino families, supporting programs like SNAP and WIC.
  6. Tackle gun violence as a public health crisis affecting children.
  7. Boost economic security for Latina mothers and families by championing paid family leave and expanding child tax credit.
  8. Support humane immigration policies since they affect every aspect of Latino children’s lives.

We know you agree there is nothing more important than providing access to opportunity for all our children. Learn more about the Latino Infant Policy Agenda and consider how you can support its proposed policy solutions.

Explore More