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Social-emotional programming for families exposed to environmental risks: Improving outcomes for Migrant Head Start children and families


The Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) operates 66 child development centers across Florida, specializing in comprehensive education, child care, and family programming for rural and low-income children and families. Of the approximately 7,000 children they serve, about 1,700 participate in RCMA’s Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs. In the early years after their founding in 1965, RCMA found that training and hiring parents from farmworking families made it easier for others from the community to engage with their services. Today, RCMA continues to train and hire many of their staff from these communities, bringing cultural competency and understanding about the experiences, strengths, and needs of migrant and farmworking children and families in Florida. Informed by their longstanding community connections, RCMA has developed comprehensive social-emotional programming to support families of migrant and seasonal workers with children enrolled in Head Start who face disproportionate exposure to environmental and climate hazards, such as extreme heat, pesticides, and poor air quality. (author abstract)

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Fact Sheets & Briefs
United States
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