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In California, more than 60% of children under the age of five are Dual Language Learners (DLLs). DLLs are children who are simultaneously learning two or more languages or are learning a second language while continuing to develop their first language. Despite the well-documented long-term benefits of early learning experiences, DLLs often face barriers to accessing inclusive and high-quality early childhood education. At Californians Together, we are committed to promoting opportunities that empower DLLs to reach their full potential. Here are our efforts in advancing this cause:

In California, universal preK is delivered through a mixed-delivery system that administers funds across licensed center- and family-based child care programs, Head Start, Early Head Start, public schools, and community-based organizations. Through our advocacy work, support for professional development, and engagement with stakeholders and policymakers, Californians Together is playing a crucial role in promoting equity and quality programs for DLLs in the mixed delivery system. Our goal is to ensure access to high-quality, affordable options for children through age five and their families.

We recognize and value the critical role of bilingual educators in promoting language development and embracing the unique strengths of DLLs. We are dedicated to supporting their professional growth, credentialing, and long-term retention. Our current focus is on helping establish bilingual pathways within the new P-3 credential. By advocating for equitable and accessible pathways to bilingual teacher certification, we aim to increase the number of qualified DLL educators in our early childcare settings.

At Californians Together, we are committed to equipping PK teachers and administrators with the knowledge and skills to effectively support DLLs. We are developing a preschool toolkit that aligns the PK learning foundations with the English Learner roadmap, establishing clear standards for working with DLLs in PK settings. The toolkit will provide evidence-based strategies and resources to promote language development, cultural responsiveness, and inclusive practices. Through workshops, training, and collaborations, we aim to empower educators and administrators to use the toolkit to enhance their practices and engage with DLL families and children.

At Californians Together, we recognize the vital role of families and communities in a child’s education journey. We prioritize investing in high-quality programs and services that have a positive impact on children’s lives, both within and outside of school. Our commitment extends beyond academic achievement to nurturing social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth in children. We believe that equipping families and communities with the necessary tools and resources is essential to ensure that every child thrives in all aspects of their development.