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Immigrant Families and Early Learning Rights

On the heels of recent immigration and refugee executive orders and a proposed new executive order, Early Edge stands with California’s diverse children and families.

young child and parent holding hands

Currently we are hearing that some families are not attending early learning programs out of concern of deportation, so we are working at the state level on information that can guide local policies and practices. We deeply believe diversity is one of California’s greatest strengths and that supporting immigrant families is imperative to our future.  

All families deserve peace of mind knowing their children are safe while they have the opportunity to learn. We encourage you to review the following resources so that you can protect and advocate for the educational rights of young children in immigrant families.

Families

Preschool and child care sites are “sensitive locations” in which immigration enforcement actions may generally not occur. The United States Department of Education released a fact sheet about safe spaces. The National Immigration Law Center developed a know-your-rights card to show to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.  

Early Childhood Educators

The American Federation of Teachers released Immigrant and Refugee Children: A Guide for Educators and Support Staff to protect and prepare children and families in case of an immigration and ICE raid. The United States Department of Education published Building a Bright Future for All, a resource guide to help educators better serve immigrant children, promote early learning opportunities, and share resources with families. The guide includes information about schools’ legal obligation to ensure English Learners can meaningfully participate in programs.  

Early Childhood Program and School District Leaders

We echo California’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s call for sites and districts to adopt resolutions that restrict ICE access to school properties and student files. Fresno County Board of Education, Oakland Unified, Los Angeles Unified, Sacramento City Unified, and San Bernardino City Unified are among the local education agencies that recently passed resolutions.

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