Child care has become an important setting for children to learn new language and social skills as well as to become familiar with a structured environment in order to ease the transition to formal schooling. Although research examining the relationship between formal child care and behavioral outcomes has shown mixed results, studies have demonstrated that formal child care is associated with positive cognitive and social-emotional outcomes in young children. More specifically, immigrant children (i.e., children who are foreign-born or native-born with one or both parents being foreign-born), who comprise roughly one-quarter of the American population under age 6, can derive benefits from formal child care, such as preparing for formal schooling, learning English, and gaining an understanding of American culture. However, immigrant families are less likely than nonimmigrant families to utilize formal child care for their young children. Latino families may be particularly unlikely to utilize formal child care, but it is unknown whether this choice differs between immigrant and nonimmigrant Latino families. Thus, the aim of the current study was to build on exploratory research and fill a gap in the existing literature through the use of a large sample in order to determine the child care preferences of immigrant and nonimmigrant Latina women and whether social and internal factors contribute to these preferences and arrangements. (author abstract)
Latina women in the United States: Child care preferences and arrangements
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