Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—Reduce Trauma


sad latino boy with mom and doctor

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » The Importance of Preventing, Mitigating Trauma Preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and/or mitigating their harmful effects is critical for improving prospects for early child development, and many programs and interventions have been implemented in this regard. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends early screening for developmental and behavioral problems starting at age 9 months through 3 years.38 The Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! initiative is a federal effort to promote healthy child development through care collaboration and a system-wide approach, and provides screening resources for families, educators, and various healthcare providers.39 Home ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—School Readiness


frustrated stress anxiety latina student in class

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Head Start Centers as School Readiness Havens Many children attend Head Start programs, which were founded to promote school readiness for children of low-income families. In recent years, the Head Start curriculum has been challenged to enhance children’s language and preliteracy skills using interactive reading with active discussions. One of these programs, the Research-based, Developmentally Informed (REDI) classroom intervention, uses evidence-based curricula that center on preschool attainment of language, preliteracy, and social-emotional skills considered essential for later achievement. In a study of 356 children (17% Latino) enrolled in Head Start programs, ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—Early Care


early care preschool program with diverse kids

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » The Benefits of ECE Programs for Kids Children who participate in high-quality early care and education (ECE) programs experience a range of immediate and long-term cognitive and health benefits, with the greatest impact seen in low-income populations.98 Although extensive literature is available on the long-term effects of Head Start and other early childhood development programs on black and white children, the effects of these programs on Latino populations have mostly been ignored.125 Additionally, nearly 40 years ago, it was recognized that cultural differences exist among the different Spanish-speaking people and that different subgroups should be analyzed separately. ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Early Care and Education


latino toddler boy shapes in preschool

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Latino Kids Start Developmentally Behind their Peers Although Latino children may be of similar weight at birth and equally able to thrive in the first 2 years of life compared with white children,96 their ability to reason and remember tasks (cognitive processing skills), verbally communicate, and identify letters, numbers, and shapes (preliteracy skills) lessens significantly by age 24 months, and these disparities appear even more prevalent in Mexican-American children than in other Latino subgroups.1 In general, a 15- to 25-percentage point gap exists for Latino children relative to their white peers.97 Children who start behind in kindergarten often stay behind. See more in ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Healthy Lifestyles


Latina mom eating healthy food with child

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Latino Kids Have Limited Access to Healthy Foods Pediatric obesity is an important public health issue. Targeted efforts to curb child obesity rates are necessary, especially among Latino children, as this sub-group is more likely to become overweight before entering elementary school than children of other ethnic groups.11 Obesity in Latino children increases health risk factors and can also impact school performance.11,54 A main contributor of overweight and obesity in Latino children may be their limited access to healthy food. See the full Salud America! research review on Latino children and healthy food access.10 Some recent study results appear mixed on this ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Childhood Trauma


sad latino kids in a truck

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Growing up feeling safe, secure, and loved is essential for the healthy development of all children.14 Yet 70% of all children are exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by age 6 that may have negative effects on many aspects of their developmental.8,9,15 ACEs may include parental domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness, criminal justice involvement, child abuse and/or neglect, poverty/homelessness, and parental death, among others.16 Multiple studies have shown that children exposed to ACEs are more likely to develop physical, mental, behavioral, psychosocial, and/or cognitive issues than children who have not been exposed to ACEs, and these effects can ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Introduction & Methods



This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Introduction Childhood development is a dynamic, interactive process that is not predetermined by genetics, but is hindered by lack of proper care, services, and support. Proper childhood development is critical because 90 percent of brain development occurs by age 5. Latino childhood development is particularly important because Latinos make up 26 percent of US children younger than 5. The Latino population is one of the fastest-growing U.S. demographics, yet 12 million Latinos live below the poverty level.1–3 As such, many Latino children are at risk of not receiving the care and services they need during their formative years, which may have negative effects on their early ...

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Talking to Puppets Brings Mental Health into Kid Conversations


child puppets for mental health in Vermont

We all remember filing into a school auditorium as first graders and trying to stay awake during a dull, lackluster presentation. Did we learn something? Maybe. Do we remember it today? Probably not. Well, the Vermont Family Network (VFN) discovered a fun way—puppets!—to engage young children in talking about mental health. The Vermont network formed an educational puppet troupe that brings messages of health and inclusion to more than 10,000 children and adults each year in Vermont (2% Latino) and beyond. The troupe, called the Puppets in Education (PiE) program, is celebrating their 36th year of teaching students through puppetry! The PiE program uses 3-and-a-half-foot puppets to empower kids to talk about important, difficult issues. From the stage in schools, ...

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Latino College Students are Falling Behind



Here's an interesting fact: the more education you have, the longer your lifespan can be. In recent years, Latinos have made tremendous progress in education. High school graduation rates are up while dropout rates are down. Latino students are also enrolling in two- and four-year colleges in greater numbers than ever before. That is the good news. Now, the not-so-good. Education: Good News vs. Bad News Latinos, despite their progress, continue to fall behind their white and black peers. In 2016, 45% of all Latinos had at least some college education, up from 35% in 1992, according to the new “Latino Education and Economic Progress: Running Faster but Still Behind” report from the Center on Education and the Workforce. However, the college education gap between Latinos ...

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