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Early childhood education decision-making among Latinx foreign-born parents in the United States: A culturally-informed model of decision-making


This study aims to better understand the decision-making process for Latinx foreign-born parents choosing early childhood education settings for their children ages 3 to 5. Using a transformative mixed methods design, this study develops a culturally-based model of decision-making for these families. Grounded theory was used to analyze group interviews with twenty-two Latinx immigrant parents across four communities to produce an ecologically valid model of ECE decision-making. The overall integrity of the resulting model was tested by estimating multinomial logistic regression analyses of education utilization among Latinx immigrant families (N = 744) with 3 to 5-year old children from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education. Findings were congruent across phases and show that relationships between parental beliefs and socialization goals, social context, and indicators of trust facilitate the creation of care preferences for preschool age children which are moderated by maternal employment status and developmental expectations. For example, among employed parents, higher ratings of care assets for center care over parent care predicted a greater likelihood of selecting center versus parent care. These findings provide novel insights into the role of cultural socialization goals in parents’ search for early childhood education and suggest greater attention should be paid by scholars and providers to the cultural contexts in which families make their decisions. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
New York

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