Childcare Experiences of African Immigrant Families in Minnesota

Childcare Experiences of African Immigrant Families in Minnesota

An Ecological Exploration and Implications for Policy, Practice and Research on Immigrant Families

LAP Lambert Academic Publishing ( 2010-01-09 )

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A thematic analysis of 56 qualitative interviews of 7 African immigrant families from Ethiopia, Nigeria and Congo living in Minnesota revealed that these families resemble other poor families in the considerations that guide their childcare choices. In addition to the financial and other constraints (unstable jobs, lack of openings,transportation concerns,lack of access to relatives,lack of sick care,odd-hours care, problems with childcare subsidies) that poor non-immigrant parents usually face, African immigrant families face language difficulties, cultural barriers, lack of information and difficulties in navigating the system to get the childcare they want for their children.Overall,their childcare experiences were found to be affected by ecological correlates of child''s age, mother''s employment, family income, availability of relatives and childcare subsidy policies. Findings show how childcare environment is a means for exchange of cultural practices and learning new behaviors for them and their children thus helping them adapt to the life in USA. Implications for policy, practice and research are discussed in the context of immigrant family life.

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By (author) :

Sayali Amarapurkar

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Social structural research