Diversity and Common Obstacles

I’m stuck on a Psychology question and need an explanation.

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Chapter 10 begins, “in today’s United States, there is no typical family; rather, there is a vast diversity of family structures in which children develop and learn” (Wardle, 2013, p. 274). Our classroom, families, and children are reflective of this statement. Early care and education programs have a crucial role in supporting all families and “by supporting the family, we support the child” (Wardle, 2013, p. 283).

Reflecting on these quotes from the textbook, choose two common obstacles that families face from the list below and explain how you will work with families to overcome this obstacle.

Common obstacles:

  1. Poverty
  2. Children with developmental delays
  3. Problems with substance abuse by family member
  4. Grandparents raising children and generational issues
  5. Lack of extended family support
  6. Communication difficulties
  7. Cultural conflicts between the family and program
  8. New immigrant status

For each of the obstacles you have chosen, complete the following prompt with critical thought and elaboration. Each obstacle should have a minimum of two ways that you will support families who are facing the challenge.

Prompt:
As an early childhood educator, in an effort to support families who ________________, I will _____________.

AN EXAMPLE FROM PEER

As an early childhood educator, in an effort to support families who are struggling with poverty, I will make sure that families are aware of services and community efforts available to help them meet their basic needs. As a member of the military childcare community, I have access to a wide network of military resources in addition to resources available in the surrounding community. Though it is a common belief that military families automatically have their basic needs met, many families still struggle with day-to-day financial issues. In our facility, we have the benefit of charging childcare fees on a tiered, income-based scale; many families are not aware that in the event of unforeseen financial hardships, they can qualify for a lower rate than their income would otherwise allow. Additionally, we provide breakfast, lunch, and two snacks throughout the course of the day for all children as an integrated part of the cost of childcare; no additional fees. Finally, I can make sure that military families are aware of the on-base resources like Air Force Aid, Military One-Source, and Financial Assistance classes available to them as well as community resources like local food banks, WIC, and income-based housing grants. On a more personal level, I can ensure that at least some of the cost of a child’s daily needs are reduced by being lenient about some expectations within the program. For example, it is the typical expectation that parents provide extra clothing and weather-specific clothing (cold-weather gear, swim/water-gear), however, these can be expensive and the care facility maintains a collection of gently used, donated items for children to use when they do not have or cannot provide their own. It is a typical expectation that families arrive prior to mealtimes if the child will be partaking in the meal, however, families can privately speak to a teacher if a meal needs to be held for their child due to scheduling difficulties. Finally, it is a typical expectation that diapers and wipes (for children who are not yet toileting independently) are provided by families; however, as with clothing, the facility maintains an extra supply supplied via donation when families are unable to provide their own.

As an early childhood educator, in an effort to support families who are struggling with a lack of extended family support, I will make families aware of the support systems available on the military base and in the surrounding community while encouraging socialization among families to form a network of local support. A lack of extended family support is a very common stressor for military families who must continually move as a requirement of their jobs and often don’t live near extended family. Often families rely on extended family for both emotional support and closeness, and tangible support in the form of childcare during untraditional hours, for appointments, or for personal time. I can support families by ensuring that they are aware of community and on-base family events, opportunities for personal time (a Give Parents a Break childcare night, for example), and childcare providers who maintain a relationship with the program and offer untraditional hours. I can also help families come together and meet each other to form close relationships and network through family nights and social events planned at the facility, support groups for specific needs, and a family-mentorship program. A close network of local peers, coworkers, and friends can help meet the needs typically met by extended family. END

Resources

Wardle, F. (2013). Collaboration with families and communities [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

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