FRC News

Latino Child Care Needs Assessment in the News

11/1/2010  8:00 am


Finding good child care and being able to engage easily in important interactions with your child care provider are critical to any mother's ability to work outside the home.

"Suppose you're living in the rural Midwest and you don't speak English very well. Can you imagine leaving your child with a child care provider if you couldn't communicate well with that person?" said Angela Wiley, a University of Illinois associate professor of applied family studies.

"The immigrant moms we interviewed for this study faced just this dilemma," she said.

Immigrant Latino mothers in rural areas need child care that meets a certain cultural comfort level, is affordable for them, and is available during shift work, she said.

Why the urgent interest in rural Latino families' child care needs? In non-metropolitan areas of Illinois, the Latino population grew by 71 percent between 1990 and 2000, and it has continued to grow. In Champaign County alone, the number has more than doubled.

These statistics caught the eye of administrators at the U of I's Child Care Resource Center in 2008, and they began to study the needs of rural Latino mothers.

As co-investigators on The Latino Families in Central Illinois Project, Wiley and U of I professor Marcela Raffaelli hired Spanish-speaking U of I students to interview 112 mothers with at least one child under age 12 in Champaign, Douglas, Iroquois, Macon, and Vermilion counties.

For more information on the project and the full report visit the Latino Needs Assessment Project webpage.