early childhood, childhood development, child care, developmental screenings, FFN care
The purpose of this project was to ascertain a more detailed understanding of parents’ views on developmental screenings and family, friend, and neighbor care1 for young children from immigrant, refugee, and/or asylee2 communities that speak either Arabic, French, or Somali in Portland, Maine3 with the intention of informing future strategies that can be implemented by the Cumberland County Developmental Screening Community Initiative (DSCI) and Starting Strong, the early childhood initiative that is a part of Portland ConnectED.
Through a collaborative process, Starting Strong, DSCI, the Data Innovation Project (DIP), and Maine Immigrant Access Network (MAIN) sought to address two distinct research questions: one for the DSCI specific to parents’ views on developmental screenings and one for Starting Strong specific to parents’ perspectives and use of family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) care. The findings and recommendations from this project are intended to support the shared goals of both groups that all children experience culturally appropriate and relevant developmental screenings and have equitable access to high quality early child care in culturally appropriate ways, which puts them on the pathway to kindergarten readiness and third grade reading proficiency.
This report provides a synthesis of this qualitative study – interviews conducted by Community Health Workers (CHWs) from MAIN and focus groups conducted by DIP staff. The following sections describe the data collection methodology for the project, key findings, recommendations, and discuss opportunities for further research.
This report was developed for Starting Strong and MaineHealth – Cumberland County Developmental Screening Community Initiative by the Data Innovation Project and Main Access Immigrant Network.
Swenson, E.; & Hawes, S. (2020). Early Childhood in Portland: Perspectives on Child Care and Development. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Cutler Institute.