One-third of young children in the U.S. live in a household where a language other than English is spoken by a parent or caregiver. In some regions, like the Heising-Simons Foundation’s home state of California, the majority of children under six years of age are dual-language learners, meaning that they are learning two or more languages at the same time. These emerging bilingual students are a rich asset, pointing to a multilingual future where all children have the opportunity to thrive. This promise cannot be realized unless and until educators have the skills and resources they need to offer effective instruction designed with multi-lingual learners in mind.
In order to address this need, Foundation grantee Early Edge has developed the Multilingual Learning Toolkit, an online hub with evidence-based guidance and resources for early childhood educators and administrators. The project was supported by the Emerging Bilingual Collaborative, a multi-funder initiative that supports California educators’ skills, knowledge, and capacity to deliver high-quality instruction to emerging bilingual learners grades preK-3. The Collaborative is comprised of the Sobrato Family Foundation, Silver Giving Foundation, California Community Foundation, James B. McClatchy Foundation, and the Heising-Simons Foundation.