Administrative support of academic practices is vital to the success of any culturally diverse learning program. Administrative support comes from development of curricula that represent the various cultures of the student population.
Curricula should also include cultures or ethnicities that are not part of the current student population. There are several ways to ensure that cultural diversity is both acknowledged and supported in the classroom.
Parents/guardians should be encouraged to actively participate in early learning programs.
Facility administrations that become actively involved in the community help build a bond that intertwines family, community, and curricula. This bond forges a link for children to recognize support and acceptance in all aspects of their lives.
Many minority cultures in the U.S., particularly immigrant or refugee families, encounter a variety of barriers when searching for a suitable child care facility. For a family whose income is below the national poverty level, child care outside of the home is generally not affordable. Regardless of the need for an academic learning environment, child care expense cannot come before basic needs such as, food, electricity, and rent.
Many affordable programs, or those that are publicly funded, often do not have space available for new admissions. In some cases, low-income families make too much money to qualify for publicly assisted or publicly funded child care.
Forms and paperwork required during the enrollment process can be daunting for families who learned English as a second language. Often, staff is either not available or unable to assist with language barriers.
Most child care facility classes only operate during the daytime for half the day. Facility hours often present dilemmas for parents/guardians who work long days or shift work.
Generally, state-funded programs do not require parents/guardians to present proof of immigration status. However, many undocumented immigrants are reluctant to enroll their children or place their names on a waiting list.
Cultural differences can also keep children out of child care because, in many cultures, the responsibility of caring for the child falls to the grandparents. Grandparents may feel their contribution to the family has been taken away if the children attend a child care facility.
Keeping young children at home can be easier for immigrant families for several reasons. Many believe that their culture is better preserved the longer the child stays in the home. Parents/guardians may be afraid of not being able to communicate with teachers because of language differences. Family members may feel that their children will be overlooked because they do not speak English.
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