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Latino Children and Families

Latino children, youth, and families are a large, fast-growing, diverse – and largely understudied — segment of the U.S. population. Latinos represent 16 percent of our nation’s population and 25 percent of our public elementary students. Child Trends explores an array of topics focusing on Latino children and families, including teen pregnancy and other aspects of reproductive health; early childhood development; positive youth development; family formation; effective programs; and indicators related to child well-being. We provide a range of research services from literature reviews, survey design, data analysis, evaluation, and qualitative research.

To help inform how programs and policy can better serve Hispanic children and families, Child Trends and Abt Associates are pleased to announce the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families, funded by the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration of Children & Families. The Center is made up of a strong team of national experts in Hispanic issues, and is a hub of research to improve the lives of Hispanics across three priority areas: poverty reduction and self-sufficiency, healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, and early care and education. Read more about the Center and its Summer Research Fellowship Program.

Featured Publications

The Invisible Ones: How Latino Children Are Left Out of Our Nation's Census Count

Apr 2016 | William O’Hare; Yeris Mayol-Garcia; Elizabeth Wildsmith; Alicia Torres

The decennial census, conducted every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau, collects critical information on the U.S. population. An accurate count of that population helps ensure fair political representation and the equitable distribution of public services. This report, from Child Trends and the NALEO Educational Fund, describes the extent to which young Latino children are missed in the census count, and steps that can be taken to reduce that risk in 2020.

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Latinos and Literacy: Hispanic Students' Progress in Reading

Mar 2016 | Manica F. Ramos; David Murphey

This report highlights growth in U.S. Latino students' reading scores over the last decade, using scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment to compare progress across states and major cities, and for some major urban school districts. The study was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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Using Existing Large-Scale Data to Study Early Care and Education among Hispanics: Project Overview and Methodology

Mar 2016 | Julia L. Mendez; Danielle A. Crosby

To promote the well-informed and strategic use of data for building the knowledge base about Latinos’ ECE access and utilization, the interrelated briefs in this series provide summary information and data tables that can be used by researchers to select the studies, samples, and variables most appropriate for their research questions. This is the first of four briefs in this series. It describes the project methodology and summarizes key design features of the selected data sets, including the availability of sociodemographic indicators of particular relevance to studying Hispanic populations.

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Using Existing Large-Scale Data to Study Early Care and Education Among Hispanics: Search and Decision-Making

Mar 2016 | Danielle A. Crosby; Julia L. Mendez; Heather M. Helms

New research is needed to learn more about how, when, and why Latino parents access certain early childhood programs and services, and not others. As highlighted in this brief series, numerous existing large-scale data sets offer potentially valuable information about the ECE experiences of Hispanic populations. This brief on Latino child care search and decision-making focuses in particular on what these studies have to offer about how Hispanic families seek out and select ECE settings. Researchers can use this review and associated data tables to identify the study/studies, samples, and variables most appropriate for their research questions.

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