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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Phillips, Deborah A.; Johnson, Anna D.; Weiland, Christina; Hutchison, Jane E.
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2017

    The increasing diversity of young children enrolled in state pre-K and Head Start programs has prompted examination of varying impacts for identified subgroups of young children. We argue that questions of subgroup impacts and the processes that may account for them should be prioritized in future evaluations of these programs. Three subgroups at high risk of poor school performance provide the focus for our discussion: low-income children exposed to significant adversity, dual language learners, and children with special needs. We further draw upon new hypotheses regarding the kinds of processes most likely to support both short- and longer-term public preschool impacts as they apply to these subgroups. We conclude with a set of research recommendations aimed at identifying features of these programs that may render them especially effective in the context of today’s increasingly diverse classrooms of young children. (Author abstract)

    The increasing diversity of young children enrolled in state pre-K and Head Start programs has prompted examination of varying impacts for identified subgroups of young children. We argue that questions of subgroup impacts and the processes that may account for them should be prioritized in future evaluations of these programs. Three subgroups at high risk of poor school performance provide the focus for our discussion: low-income children exposed to significant adversity, dual language learners, and children with special needs. We further draw upon new hypotheses regarding the kinds of processes most likely to support both short- and longer-term public preschool impacts as they apply to these subgroups. We conclude with a set of research recommendations aimed at identifying features of these programs that may render them especially effective in the context of today’s increasingly diverse classrooms of young children. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sandstrom, Heather; Chaudry, Ajay
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Regardless of their economic background, most working parents face the task of arranging childcare at some point. The decision-making process they experience is often complex, and this complexity is intensified for particular groups of families with limited financial and social resources. In this paper, we present findings from a three-year qualitative study of the childcare choices of low-income working families, many of whom were immigrants, had limited English proficiency, were parents of children with special needs, or represented some combination of these factors. The study explored families’ current care arrangements, their reasons for selecting a particular form of childcare, and the characteristics of their ideal arrangements. Data were coded to identify themes in parental preferences, decision factors, and the barriers families faced in accessing their preferred care arrangements. Most significantly, the parents studied described their preferences for an environment where their children could learn and be in the presence of caring and trustworthy caregivers. About a...

    Regardless of their economic background, most working parents face the task of arranging childcare at some point. The decision-making process they experience is often complex, and this complexity is intensified for particular groups of families with limited financial and social resources. In this paper, we present findings from a three-year qualitative study of the childcare choices of low-income working families, many of whom were immigrants, had limited English proficiency, were parents of children with special needs, or represented some combination of these factors. The study explored families’ current care arrangements, their reasons for selecting a particular form of childcare, and the characteristics of their ideal arrangements. Data were coded to identify themes in parental preferences, decision factors, and the barriers families faced in accessing their preferred care arrangements. Most significantly, the parents studied described their preferences for an environment where their children could learn and be in the presence of caring and trustworthy caregivers. About a third of the families said they preferred relatives as caregivers, and selected relatives to provide childcare. Other parents selected care according to cost, location, and availability of the provider; they described the challenges of locating affordable, high-quality care that met their nonstandard schedules. These findings have important implications for childcare policy. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Chaudry, Ajay; Pedroza, Juan M.; Sandstrom, Heather; Danzinger, Anna; Grosz, Michel; Scott, Molly; Ting, Sarah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    This research report presents the findings from a qualitative study of the child care choices of low-income working families in two urban communities.  Participants included 86 parents with young children, many of whom were immigrants, English language learners, or parents of children with special needs.  We discuss the key themes and variations in family experiences, giving particular attention to parental preferences and the factors that influenced their decisions, within the contexts of their employment and the early care and education programs in their communities.  We conclude with policy recommendations that can promote parental access to affordable and high quality care. (author abstract)

    This research report presents the findings from a qualitative study of the child care choices of low-income working families in two urban communities.  Participants included 86 parents with young children, many of whom were immigrants, English language learners, or parents of children with special needs.  We discuss the key themes and variations in family experiences, giving particular attention to parental preferences and the factors that influenced their decisions, within the contexts of their employment and the early care and education programs in their communities.  We conclude with policy recommendations that can promote parental access to affordable and high quality care. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Karoly, Lynn A.; Gonzalez, Gabriella C.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    A substantial and growing share of the population, immigrant children are more likely than children with native-born parents to face a variety of circumstances, such as low family income, low parental education, and language barriers that place them at risk of developmental delay and poor academic performance once they enter school.

    Lynn Karoly and Gabriella Gonzalez examine the current role of and future potential for early care and education (ECE) programs in promoting healthy development for immigrant children. Participation in center-based care and preschool programs has been shown to have substantial short-term benefits and may also lead to long-term gains as children go through school and enter adulthood. Yet, overall, immigrant children have lower rates of participation in nonparental care of any type, including center-based ECE programs, than their native counterparts.

    Much of the participation gap can be explained by just a few economic and sociodemographic factors, the authors find. To some extent, the factors that affect disadvantaged immigrant children...

    A substantial and growing share of the population, immigrant children are more likely than children with native-born parents to face a variety of circumstances, such as low family income, low parental education, and language barriers that place them at risk of developmental delay and poor academic performance once they enter school.

    Lynn Karoly and Gabriella Gonzalez examine the current role of and future potential for early care and education (ECE) programs in promoting healthy development for immigrant children. Participation in center-based care and preschool programs has been shown to have substantial short-term benefits and may also lead to long-term gains as children go through school and enter adulthood. Yet, overall, immigrant children have lower rates of participation in nonparental care of any type, including center-based ECE programs, than their native counterparts.

    Much of the participation gap can be explained by just a few economic and sociodemographic factors, the authors find. To some extent, the factors that affect disadvantaged immigrant children resemble those of their similarly disadvantaged native counterparts. Affordability, availability, and access to ECE programs are structural barriers for many immigrant families, as they are for disadvantaged families more generally. Language barriers, bureaucratic complexity, and distrust of government programs, especially among undocumented immigrants, are unique challenges that may prevent some immigrant families from taking advantage of ECE programs, even when their children might qualify for subsidies. Cultural preferences for parental care at home can also be a barrier.

    Thus the authors suggest that policy makers follow a two-pronged approach for improving ECE participation rates among immigrant children. First, they note, federal and state ECE programs that target disadvantaged children in general are likely to benefit disadvantaged immigrant children as well. Making preschool attendance universal is one way to benefit all immigrant children. Second, participation gaps that stem from the unique obstacles facing immigrants, such as language barriers and informational gaps, can be addressed through the way publicly subsidized and private or nonprofit programs are structured. (author abstract)

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