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News - World Headlines

Participation in Early Childhood Education Varies Because of Cultural Factors - Or Does it?

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN CHILD REARING VALUES IS THOUGHT TO EXPLAIN WHY SOME ETHNIC GROUPS ARE MORE LIKELY THAN OTHERS TO ENROL THEIR CHILDREN IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.  A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS ISSUE IN THE UNITED STATES REVEALS THAT CULTURE MAKES LITTLE DIFERENCE BUT ANOTHER FACTOR DOES ... 

Washington. April, 2012 - Latino families in the United States use centre-based childcare services less than non-Latino white families.

Common wisdom is that this is a cultural preference. However, a new study suggests the difference may have more to do with costs and opportunities than culture and choice. Among similarly situated black, Latino, and white families, the use of non-parental care is essentially the same.

New York-based researchers found that when some demographic characteristics are accounted for – specifically, mothers’ education, mothers’ employment status, and family income – differences in the use of non-parental care essentially disappear.

This research, examining childcare patterns for 7,200 US children using the National Household Education Survey, indicates under-use of childcare services by the Latino population is not a cultural idiosyncrasy; it may in fact be a tale of barriers to access.

The authors say that “all families, regardless of race/ethnicity, deserve access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education experiences.”

For more, see Preventionaction.org

 

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