“Whoa! It has a lot of benefits” : the early care and education perceptions and preferences of refugee mothers

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amanda C. Eastern (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Danielle Crosby

Abstract: Resettlement can be an overwhelming experience for refugee families with young children but early care and education (ECE) services have been found to help refugees integrate into their new communities. However, refugee families are less likely to utilize ECE than U.S. born and other immigrant families. Although ECE utilization is low among refugee families, it is imperative to contextualize and acknowledge the various factors that influence their access to and engagement with ECE. Grounded in the accommodations model of child care decision-making and the community cultural wealth theoretical perspective, this study aimed to explore refugee mothers’ perceptions of ECE and what characteristics of care they preferred and prioritized for their children. Participants included four refugee mothers with preschool aged children. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and data was studied using interpretative phenomenological analysis methodology. Findings highlighted how mothers’ personal experiences and beliefs as well as support from a local community agency influenced their early care perspectives and experiences. Findings further indicated that mothers perceived ECE as important and beneficial for their families’ development and considered public care with caring teachers that provide culturally responsive enriching environments as important for their preschool-age children. Understanding what refugee mothers value in early care and education provides useful information to ECE programs, resettlement agencies, and scholars; implications of this study and future directions for research are presented.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Child care decision-making, Early care and education, Parental preferences, Qualitative research, Refugee families
Refugee families $x Attitudes
Child care services $x Decision making
Early childhood education $x Decision making

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