Recent National Study of Latino Families with Young Children Shows Child Safety, Bilingual Development, and Quality Childcare are Top Priorities for Early Development and Education
WASHINGTON, DC— UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization, in collaboration with Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors and BSP Research, released survey results from 1,300 Latino families on the health and wellbeing of their youngest children.
The survey showed that child safety, bilingual development, and quality childcare are top priorities for Latino families. The survey was conducted to gather, uplift, and infuse the voices of Latino families with children from 0 to 5 years old, with a particular focus on prenatal to three (PN-3) in the policy arena.
The top priorities Latino families with young children look for in childcare include strong teacher experience, a good reputation, and affordability. When choosing a childcare center, Latino families prioritize centers that offer fresh, nutritious foods (55%). And more than 85% believe there should be increased funding for early childhood programs and increased compensation for caregivers.
The survey findings demonstrate that parents desire quality early education programs for their children and are clear about what that means for them. “Latino parents expressed strong support for the bilingual development of their infants/toddlers, culturally responsive practices and strategies, and a well-trained, experienced ECE workforce. This speaks to the high value that Latino families place on the education of their children from birth, and their aspirations for the future,” Amalia Chamorro, Director of Education Policy, UnidosUS.
“For Latino families with young children, gun violence, racism, and mental health are all top concerns regarding the safety of their children. Over 60% are extremely concerned that their child could be a victim of a mass shooting, and 90% believe it is important for policymakers to take more aggressive steps to reduce mass shootings. When it comes to discrimination, 82% of Latinos find it very important/important to talk to their children about racism or discrimination,” says Adrián Pedroza, National Executive Director, Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors.
The overwhelming majority of respondents are at least slightly concerned about their own and their child’s mental health and respondents expressed needing resources to help them with their family’s mental health. The survey found that negative ads targeting Latinos were particularly harmful to their mental health, 51% who had seen anti-immigrant campaign ads felt like people did not want them in the United States after viewing the ad.
The survey includes expectant families in the sample which provides a more complete picture of Latino families than most studies. “We found that expectant families are struggling financially, they are more likely to report that they are facing food insecurity challenges and falling behind on their car and rent or mortgage payments. Latinos who are about to become parents are very vulnerable right now and need support as they build their families,” observed Dr. Gabriel Sanchez, Vice President of Research, BSP Research.
This data shows us that Latino communities across the country are struggling with economic stress, mental health, and wellbeing. Latinos are concerned about the future of their families and children, but voice clear strategies policymakers can implement to create the conditions for progress so that all children thrive.
Survey Methodology: BSP Research collected opinions from 1,300 Latino parents and primary caregivers of children 5 years of age or younger including expecting families using a blended data collection approach that included online surveys, and live telephone interviews conducted via landlines and cell phones. The survey was available in English or Spanish and carries an overall +/- 2.7% margin of error, with larger margins for sub-samples. Upon completion, the data were weighted to match the U.S. Census ACS for parents and grandparents of Latino origin. The survey was conducted from September 6-October 4, 2022 and includes oversamples for both New Mexico and Los Angeles County.
The topline survey results can be found here. The full report will be available in January 2023.
Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors invests in parent leadership approaches to support families in building a strong early childhood foundation for their development in early reading, language development, math, technology, health, and whole family wellbeing. The evidence-based program has served families in more than 380 cities, in 40 states- creating stronger parent advocates and better educational outcomes for children across the U.S. Find out more at ap-od.org.