Latino Group, U.S. Army Team Up to Promote STEM among High Schoolers



The science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce is no more diverse than it was 20 years ago. In fact, less than 2% of the STEM workforce is Latino youth, although they make up about 20% of the population, according to a factsheet by the U.S. Department of Education. Vacant STEM jobs and gaps in this growing career field mean gaps in income, health, and quality of life. It also means Americans lag behind in: advancing alternative energy source curing diseases predicting natural disasters preventing cybercrime protecting our citizens securing sustainable food supply In order to promote STEM careers among Latino youth, we need to improve STEM programming beginning as early as preschool, promote STEM programs for Latinos, and boost high school ...

Read More

Mississippi Governor Urges Training Day Care Workers to Improve Early Education



The first few years are critical for preparing kids for life, yet early childcare employees are the least prepared. They often only have a high school degree, thus aren’t equipped to give kids the care and services they need during their formative years. Mississippi Governor, Phil Bryant, told residents at the Neshoba County Fair in July 2017 that he plans to improve early childhood education across the state by training day care workers. He hopes to use federal and state funds to provide training through the state’s 15 community colleges, at no cost to the workers, according to one source. According to Governor Bryant’s Twitter account, “Our community colleges are now educating our childcare workers on early childhood education best practices. Our children deserve the ...

Read More

An Analysis of Child Care Deserts by Zip Code in 8 States


Latino health early childhood development

Although research has shown the many health, social and emotional, and cognitive benefits of quality early child care and education, Latinos have the lowest participation in these programs. Why? Child care deserts may be the answer. Although affordability, work schedules, and waiting lists are also factors, location is often the first major consideration for families. Center for American Progress looked into the location of child care centers across eight states, which accounts for 20% of the population under age five. The authors define child care desert as a ZIP code with at least 30 children under the age of five and either no child care centers so few centers that there are more than three times as many children under age 5 as there are spaces in centers. See ...

Read More

Head Start Partners with Technical and Community College


Latino health early childhood education

Latino children may have education disadvantages when starting kindergarten. Head Start, which is free for low-income families, may help to improve school readiness with curriculum to enhance children's language, pre-literacy, and social-emotional skills. In 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services Head Start passed new performance standards increasing the minimum program hours. This is great for kids and families, but a challenge for providers due to limited space. In Alexandrian, Minnesota, half-day classes could share the same facility, one in the morning and a second in the afternoon, but didn't have the space to offer full day programming for both classes. They needed more space. Jim Haugen, Head Start Supervisor approached Alexandria Technical and Community ...

Read More

Azusa Unified Now Identifies as a Pre-K through 12th District



California educates about one in eight U.S. students. In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) into law, which is the most comprehensive school funding system in 40 years. The LCFF provides more equitable school funding with local flexibility and greater community engagement with the goal of reducing the achievement gap in education. Early child education provides the highest impact in preventing achievement gaps. Many families in California feel like they aren't being adequately served by local early child care providers and want school districts to step up and take responsibility for early child education. However, funding requirements and expectations are complex, and many school leaders don't understand what is available to them or ...

Read More

Early Head Start Services for Migrant Families


Latino health early childhood development head start

Not all kids start kindergarten equally prepared to succeed. By a child's third birthday, 85% of their brain is fully developed. Children of migrant workers and Latino children growing up exposed to adverse childhood experiences, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, neglect, and poverty, as well as limited access to healthy food and safe places to play, are at increased risk for developing physical, mental, behavioral, psychosocial, and/or cognitive issues. High-quality early childhood programs can help level the playing field for Latino children on vocabulary and on social and emotional development. With federal funding, the East Coast Migrant Health Start Project serves 3,145 children annually through 26 Head Start centers in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South ...

Read More

Parenting Master Classes Use Latino Cultural Perspective



Many factors influence early childhood development, school readiness, and health. For example, Latino parents are less likely to engage their children in preliteracy activities or read books to them leading to cognitive and oral communication gaps in Latino children. Culturally relevant parent counseling, education and support can play a huge role in childhood literacy and health, because kids who do better in school become healthier adults. Three groups in Walla Walla, Washington (21.6% Latino) worked together to create a 10-week series of FREE parenting master classes, Abriendo Puertas-Spanish for Opening Doors-that use a Latino cultural perspective and are taught in Spanish. The three groups are, Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition,  the Walla Walla Community College ...

Read More

Report: More Latino Youth Are Disconnected, Not in School, Not Working


Latina teen young adult sad depressed

More Latino youths are not in school and not working than white youths, according to a new report. These youth—also called "disconnected"—face hurdles as they become adults where they live. This includes lower rates of education, and higher rates of child poverty, unemployment, and teen births. 1 in 8 U.S. youths ages 16-24 are "disconnected." Disconnection, a new measure in the new 2017 County Health Rankings, creates health and economic issues. "Youth disconnected from opportunity—meaning the chance to advance in school, gain work experience, form relationships, and build social supports in the community—represent untapped potential to strengthen the social and economic vibrancy of our communities," according to the report. How to Help The County Health Rankings, ...

Read More

Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Young Toddlers: A Responsive Parenting Approach


Latino Health Healthy Eating Research Infant Toddler Feeding

In addition to breastfeeding, research suggests that other factors that may also play a critical role in helping Latino kids achieve a healthy weight by kindergarten: mothers’ physical activity and healthy eating habits before and during pregnancy, formula marketing, maternity leave, and kids’ healthy eating and physical activity habits established during early childhood. An expert panel, convened by Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, developed Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Young Toddlers, a report of evidence-based recommendations for promoting healthy nutrition and feeding patterns for infants and toddlers. These guidelines can be used by parents and caregivers in the home, as well as be applied in child-care settings where ...

Read More

Latino Kindergartners Start School Already Behind in Math



Currently, 1 in 4 kindergartners nationwide are Latino. By 2050, that number will be 1 in 3. Latinos are the fastest-growing population in the country and they are also becoming the youngest. However, many disparities in education exist between Latinos and other races and ethnicities. A new report from the Child Trends’ Hispanic Institute uncovered some alarming findings regarding Latino kindergartners and their math skills. According to the report, Latino students, on average show up to their first days of school three months behind their white peers when it comes to their mathematics abilities. While they “make up ground” throughout the school year, the achievement gap remains because they start so far behind. “One of the best ways to not be behind the starting gate at ...

Read More