Latino and Hispanic communities are the largest and fastest-growing communities in our Head Start programs across the country.
The number of Hispanic families with enrolled children has doubled over the last three decades. Head Start parents, teachers, administrators, and advocates strengthen and celebrate their heritage and community by centering the role of families in children’s education.
Encouraging Children to Take Pride in their Hispanic Heritage and Languages of Origin
Head Start understands that Hispanic and Latino families are a diverse group. They include monolingual Spanish speakers, bilingual English and Spanish speakers, monolingual English speakers, and indigenous language speakers.
Head Start gives children and families opportunities at school to share who they are and be proud of where they come from! Children need family stories to root them in their culture and give them a strong foundation upon which to build their futures. The sharing of language and culture in program and school settings teaches children to feel good about who they are, and helps their peers learn to value cultural differences. It also helps families feel welcome and a part of the program or school environment. Head Start supports these efforts by being intentional about language and cultural policies and practices in programs and schools.
Exploring Families’ Perceptions about School Engagement
Some Hispanic families might come from the cultural perspective that teachers are the expert and families should not interfere out of respect. However, Head Start has a long history through our requirements and mission to value the expertise parents bring to the learning process since they know their children best. We welcome parents to share their thoughts, concerns, and questions in order to build a trusting partnership.
Supporting Bilingualism and Dual Language Learners
The research is clear: learning more than one language provides children with enhanced cognitive functions as well as positive language and social development. To support lifelong strong communication skills, Head Start encourages parents to foster a love for all languages—at home and at school—with their children!
Spotlighting the cultures, histories, and achievements of people of Latin American descent in our community and celebrating what we can achieve together!
Head Start alumna Denjuami Barker remembers how important it was to her family that Head Start appreciated their Mexican culture and heritage.
Read National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association Executive Director Cleo Rodríguez’s guest blog celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
Add Your Voice to the Hispanic Heritage Celebration!
Download our Hispanic Heritage Month toolkit and join us in sharing a quote from a Latino or Hispanic leader that resonates and informs your important work!
This collection of resources aims to promote and guide important conversations about supporting Latino and Hispanic communities.
Thank you to Board Member and Head Start parent Rosalba Barragan for recording the Head Start pledge in Spanish.
Become informed about dual language learning and how to keep our children supported with strategies with mask-wearing, screen time, and more.