NN Phase 1 Project Components

National Survey Description

The Nuestros Niños project has conducted a study that consisted of a National Survey with state administrators of various types of early childhood/intervention programs.

There were 117 state administrators of early childhood programs in 48 states and the District of Columbia who examined specific challenges, strategies, and beliefs around serving Latino children (birth to 5) and their families. The four types of programs included child care, Head Start, Part B-Section 619 preschool programs for children with disabilities, and Part C Infant-Toddler programs for children with developmental delays or at-risk conditions. All four groups reported the lack of Latino or bilingual professionals and the lack of sufficient staff preparation and training as the most urgent challenges in serving the Latino population.

The National Survey also contributed new information about:

  1. The percentage of young Latino children and families enrolled in early childhood programs and the percentage of Latino parents in these programs whose primary language is Spanish
  2. Factors that serve as challenges or barriers to serving young Latino children and families in early childhood programs such as the affordability and accessibility of services or families' lack of familiarity with early childhood services
  3. Ways in which states have responded to the unique needs of young Latino children and families through such efforts as outreach activities, referrals to other community agencies, and professional development activities
  4. Emerging respect to language development and literacy, assessment, parent involvement, diversity education, and school readiness.

For more information please review the executive summary of the National Survey, available as a pdf document, on the Products page.

Interviews

The Nuestros Niños Project conducted 450 face-to-face interviews with Latino parents of children (birth to 5) and early education professionals from three states: Florida, North Carolina, and Washington. The interviews addressed the following questions:

  1. What are the challenges experienced and strategies used in providing quality early education and intervention services to Latino children and their families from the perspectives of parents, teachers, specialists, and administrators?
  2. How are the challenges and strategies related to serving Latino children and families similar or different in Florida, North Carolina, and Washington?
  3. How do the interview findings relate to the results of a national survey of state administrators of early childhood programs?
  4. How do Latino parents' views on early childhood services vary as a function of different descent and length of residence in the U.S.?

Classroom Observations

Through direct observations of classroom practices, the Nuestros Niños Project examined the extent to which early childhood professionals use culturally and linguistically appropriate practices in classrooms that include Latino children. The study also investigated how early childhood teachers interact and communicate with Latino parents.

Direct observations occured in 90 center-based early childhood classrooms in Florida, North Carolina, and Washington in which Latino children made up from 25-100% of the total enrollment.

Ethnographic observations and observation checklists documented teacher-child and teacher-parent interactions as well as aspects of the physical environment, classroom structure, and materials and activities that contributed to children's early educational experiences.