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Stevenson Center, children, needs, childcare


Immigration from the Latin American nations has become a prominent topic of discussion nationwide. Illinois is, to be sure, not an exception. The Latino population of Bloomington-Normal has grown drastically in recent years. To address these new developments, coalitions and organizations have been formed which endeavor to understand, and even provide for, the needs of this new community. Some hope this may facilitate their contribution to their new neighborhood.

This report is part of a larger needs assessment, which seeks to fulfill that goal of understanding. It examines the need for child care in relation to the Latino population in Bloomington-Normal. Several questions arise when researching this need: What is the general experience of the Latino in the United States? How does migration affect the family? What are the receiving community’s perceptions of the migrant community? What does a basic makeup of a Latino community look like? What is the role of the family, and the child, in Latino culture? What are the most common trends in Latino child care provision? Are there child care needs, and if so, what are they? How is that facilitated in Bloomington-Normal? What is the role of language in this exchange? Education? Other socioeconomic factors? In order to come up with a complete, thorough needs assessment—as we hope to do—these numerous questions, and many others, oblige detailed answers. We plan to provide these answers in the report that follows.


The authors wish to express sincere appreciation to Dr. Joan Brehm for her assistance in the preparation of this report. In addition, special thanks to Socorro Alvarez, Professor Maura Toro-Morn, and Father Gregg Petri whose familiarity with the local Latino population—and their language—aided us greatly in accumulating the appropriate data. A thank-you also to Alex Cardona at State Farm for advocating our project to State Farm and acting as liaison to the HERO network. Also, the authors are grateful to all of the translators that helped us communicate with the Latino population. Without them, we would have been stuck on the opposite side of a very tall language barrier.