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A case study of child care needs of Chinese immigrant families in Richmond, B.C. Chang, Shawne Chao Yun 1995

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A CASE STUDY OF CHILD C A R E NEEDS OF CHINESE IMMIGRANT FAMILIES IN RICHMOND, B.C. by SHAWNE CHAO Y U N C H A N G B.Comm., Concordia University, 1982 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E D E G R E E OF MASTER OF ARTS in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES School of Community and Regional Planning We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1995 © Shawne Chao Yun Chang, 1995 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Community and R e g i o n a l P l a n n i n g The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date September 1, 1995 DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT Chinese children are viewed not only as the raison d'etre of their parents, but also as contributors to their future well-being. The demands and expectations that shape the nurturing and education of young Chinese children have developed on the basis of these beliefs. In Richmond B.C., a community that has experienced a recent and rapid influx of Chinese immigrants, there has emerged an issue regarding the nature of preschool education. On the one hand, immigrant Chinese parents prefer a highly structured educational environment wherein English-as-a-Second language [ESL] instruction is emphasized. This kind of pedagogical approach, it is believed, will foster their children's integration into mainstream society. Early childhood educators and caregivers, on the other hand, favour an exclusively play-based learning strategy, one devoid of formal training in grammar and phonetics. These practitioners reject the reductionist approach advocated by parents in favour of what they view as a more wholistic pedagogy. This issue is further exacerbated by cultural barriers: first, owing to Confucian prescriptions against challenging authority, there exists a general reluctance on the part of Chinese immigrants to confront school officials; second, communication between the two sides is rendered difficult, if not impossible, by the language barrier. The purpose of this study is to foster better understanding on the part of child care policy makers regarding the educational needs and problems facing Chinese immigrant families residing in Richmond, B.C. Literature relevant to early childhood development within a multicultural framework was reviewed in this study. In particular, the development of ESL education for ethno-cultural preschoolers, the philosophy of early childhood pedagogy, the result of quality child care and issues pertinent to research terminology and techniques were closely examined. The literature reviewed was drawn predominantly from Canadian and American sources. Their texts were served to illustrate differences ii in philosophical and practical perspectives regarding child care. Chinese sources were also examined in order to explain cultural and ideological differences in the field of child care. A profile of the interviewees was developed based on quantitative data collected during interviews with 75 Chinese immigrant parents. The issues and problems identified in this study emerged from qualitative interviews with Chinese parents and key informants, the latter consisting of, child care practitioners, community workers, and educators. This study found that problems experienced by Chinese parents regarding child care are similar to those of Canadian parents. For instance, the lack of affordable and available quality child care are common concerns. However, as discussed above, one significant difference identified is the Chinese parents' emphasis on a pedagogical approach to early childhood education as opposed to the play-based strategy advocated by preschool child care givers. One other finding is that although most Chinese immigrant children can converse in English, few can read or write basic English. While conversational ability is an integral part of learning a language, reading and writing are more important with regard to the effective and efficient adoption of a second language. This study concludes that preschool ESL training is a vital part of the solution for early and successful integration of Chinese children into Canadian society. How can planning address this problem? This study recommends that the Provincial Ministry of Women's Equality which is responsible for child care together with the Federal Ministries of Immigration, Human Resources and Health share information and develop programs that will provide iii immigrants with young children information related to the Canadian child care system. At the provincial level, the key is to develop a community-based child care delivery system. Child care policies and programs should be sufficiently flexible and sensitive to deal with immigrant child care requirements. The promotion of culturally sensitized, community-based child care facilities and programs should be developed by the Inter-Ministry Child Care Policy Coordination Committee working closely with relevant ministries and communities. At the Municipal level, it is crucial to establish and maintain up-to-date and accurate data bases to avoid ad hoc child care delivery systems and polices. Coordination and cooperation of the Richmond Planning, Community Services and Health Departments and local School District #38 would benefit not only immigrant children but all children in the community. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents v List of Tables vii List of Figures viii Acknowledgements ix Chapter One INTRODUCTION 1 1.1 Problem Statement 1 1.2 Purpose 2 1.3 Objective 2 1.4 Definition 2 1.5 Background 3 1.6 Organization 6 Chapter Two LITERATURE REVIEW 7 2.1 Child Care Philosophy 8 2.1.1 Surrogate Care vs. Maternal Care 8 2.1.2 Pedagogy of Early Childhood Education 10 2.2 Quality Child Care 12 2.3 Multiculturalism and Child Care Needs of Cultural Minority. . 15 2.4 Language Development and ESL for Preschoolers 24 2.5 Research Terminology and Technique 28 Chapter Three M E T H O D O L O G Y 32 3.1 Design and Limitations of the Study 32 3.2 Subject Recruitment 33 3.3 Data Collection 34 3.3.1 Informant Interviews 34 3.3.2 Chinese Parents Interviews .' 35 3.4 Data Analysis 36 Chapter Four CHARACTERISTICS OF T H E IMMIGRANT FAMILIES 38 4.1 Profile of Chinese Immigrant Parents 38 4.1.1 Type of Immigrant 38 4.1.2 Length of Stay 40 v 4.1.3 Country of Origin 41 4.1.4 Family Composition 42 4.1.5 Socio-Economic Status 44 4.2 Type of Care 47 4.2.1 Type of Immigrant 49 4.2.2 Length of Stay 49 4.2.3 Country of Origin 50 4.2.4 Family Status 50 4.2.5 Father's Employment Status 51 4.2.6 Area of Residence 51 4.3 Tendencies 54 4.3.1 Preferred Language and Cultural Backgrounds of Caregivers 54 4.3.2 English-as-a-SecondLanguage 58 4.3.3 Children's Home Language 61 4.3.4 Preferred Playmate 62 4.3.5 Communication Frequency by Age Group 62 4.3.6 Preferred Learning Method 63 Chapter Five CONCERNS OF T H E IMMIGRANT PARENTS 66 5.1 Affordability and Availability 66 5.2 Language and Culture 69 5.2.1 Language Development 69 5.2.2 Cultural Development 71 5.3 Learning Method 74 5.4 Parent and Community Involvement 78 5.5 Quality Child Care 84 Chapter Six CONCLUSIONS A N D RECOMMENDATIONS 86 6.1 Conclusions 86 6.2 Planning Implications 89 6.3 Future Research Direction 94 References 98 APPENDICES Appendix A Interview Questionnaire in English (Area Map Attached) 101 Appendix B Interview Questionnaire in Chinese 105 Appendix C Interviewee Consent Form in English 108 Appendix D Interviewee Consent Form in Chinese 109 Appendix E Organization Consent Form 110 vi LIST OF TABLES Table 2.1 Indicators of Quality Addressed by Professional Standards and Federal Requirements. . 14 Table 4.1 Area of Residence by Planning Area and Average Income 46 Table 4.2 Area of Residence by Children's Age Group 52 Table 5.1 Reasonable Rates for Child Care Services 67 Table 6.1 Responsibilities and Jurisdictions of the Inter-Ministry Child Care Policy Coordination Committee 91 vii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 4.1 Type of Immigrant 39 Figure 4.2 Length of Stay 40 Figure 4.3 Country of Origin 42 Figure 4.4 Children's Age Distribution 44 Figure 4.5 Area of Residence 46 Figure 4.6 Type of Care 48 Figure 4.7 Preferred Language and Cultural Backgrounds of Caregivers 55 Figure 4.8 Children's ESL Conversation by Age Group 60 Figure 4.9 Preferred Learning Method 64 viii ACKNOWLEDGEMENT It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge the many debts incurred in the course of writing this thesis. Heartfelt thanks are due to my parents, Caroline and Fred, for their love and support as well as their acquiescence regarding my emigration to Canada twenty years ago. In particular, my mother's courage in battling a life-threatening illness proved inspirational. Special thanks to John whose encouragement was expressed not only in words but actions. Without his love, patience and confidence, this thesis would not have been possible. My brother Franklin and his wife Cynthia helped me in ways that demonstrate the true spirit of family ties. I am also grateful to my sister Roo for guiding my choice of thesis topic. The faculty and staff of the School of Community and Regional Planning merit special thanks for making my time there so meaningful and enjoyable. In particular, I am grateful to Dr. Penny Gurstein for her unflagging patience and support. I also wish to thank my second reader Mrs. Carolyn Morrison for her unstinting help as well as the many informants and parents, too numerous to mention, but without whose cooperation this thesis could never have been written. Finally, special thanks go to Jonathan and Siobhan. Their unconditional love made me realize how beautiful this world can be and how critical the task of ensuring its survival as a place fit for them to grow up in. ix When you heal a child, you heal a family; When you heal a family, you heal a community; When you heal a community, you heal a nation. Ovide Mercredi, Grand Chief The Assembly of First Nations Vancouver, June 20, 1991 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT Chinese children are viewed not only as the raison d'etre of their parents, but also as contributors to their future well-being. The demands and expectations that shape the nurturing and education of young Chinese children have developed on the basis of these beliefs. In Richmond B.C., a community that has experienced a recent and rapid influx of Chinese immigrants, there has emerged an issue regarding the nature of preschool education. On the one hand, immigrant Chinese parents prefer a highly structured educational environment wherein English-as-a-Second language [ESL] instruction is emphasized. This kind of pedagogical approach, it is believed, will foster their children's integration into mainstream society. Early childhood educators and caregivers, on the other hand, favour an exclusively play-based learning strategy, one devoid of formal training in grammar and phonetics. These practitioners reject the reductionist approach advocated by parents in favour of what they view as a more wholistic pedagogy. This issue is further exacerbated by cultural barriers: first, owing to Confucian prescriptions against challenging authority, there exists a general reluctance on the part of Chinese immigrants to confront school officials; second, communication between the two sides is rendered difficult, if not impossible, by the language barrier. -1 -1.2 PURPOSE The purpose of this study is to foster better understanding on the part of preschool education and child care policy makers regarding the educational needs and problems facing Chinese immigrant families residing in Richmond, B.C. The objectives of this exploratory study are: (1) to identify and examine child care concerns facing Chinese irnrnigrant parents in Richmond, a multicultural community located in the Province of British Columbia, Canada (2) to create a demographic profile of their families, and (3) to suggest possible policy and delivery system alternatives for addressing/meeting these child care needs. It is most important in this study to use the utmost sensitivity in defining the term "Chinese community." Neil Bissoondath (1994) in his book, Selling Illusions, brought out this core issue of the fundamental distinctions among Chinese people from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China: [H]ow misleading it is to speak of 'the Chinese' as if no radical differences of experience, of outlook, exist between the people of Hong Kong, so long a British protectorate, the people of authoritarian Taiwan and the people of brutalized mainland. Only through misrepresentation can a place be made in the mosaic for the Chinese Community" (Italics added.)(Bissoondath 1994, 88) 1.3 OBJECTIVE 1.4 DEFINITION The term "Chinese immigrant" should also be defined here. Firstly, "Chinese" includes not only the major source of Chinese people from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but also overseas Chinese from Singapore and other countries. Secondly, the term "immigrant" has a broader sense than that of the Canada Census dictionary as it includes mostly the recent three years. For this study, more established immigrants, those who have been here longer than ten years, are also included. Home language refers to the language spoken at home; it may differ from the person's mother tongue. Although the study focuses on Chinese immigrant parents, in fact, the majority of the parents interviewed are women. In Chinese culture, as in many other cultures, it is very well defined by tradition that child care is solely a maternal responsibility. 1.5 BACKGROUND This study is primarily focused on Chinese immigrant parents' general perception of child care needs with the emphasis on identifying issues that possibly concern them the most. One, for instance, is learning methods relevant to structured formal/academic learning for children at young ages. Other factors to be considered are clearly stated in the Executive Summary of Karen Mock's report, "Child i Care Concerns of Cultural Minorities," prepared for the House of Common's Special Committee on Child Care. [Although cultural minority groups experience the same major problems as all other groups with respect to child care arrangements (namely lack of availability and accessibility to affordable quality child care), to these problems are added language difficulties, lack of understanding of the system, lack of sensitivity of the system to cultural differences, inflexible attitudes and schedules, and the inevitable frustrations of cultural shock compounded by unemployment, underemployment, and lowered socio-economic status. (Mock 1986, ii) Statistics from the 1981 Canada Census indicate that 23.5% of Richmond's population is made up of non-English speaking groups, with Chinese being the dominant group. From 1981 to 1991, the increase of Chinese population was from 7% to 18.5% (20,765) in the ten years.1 In comparison to these statistics, the 1991 Census shows that one in every three Richmond residents was born outside of Canada and that 27% of all foreign-born Richmond residents immigrated to Canada between 1988 and 1991, representing the single highest concentration (proportionally) of new immigrants of all lower mainland municipalities. The single largest group of new immigrants between 1988 and 1991 came from Hong Kong (46%), followed by China, the Philippines and Taiwan. In 1991, approximately 71% of Richmond's total Chinese population spoke Chinese at home.2 In March 1992, Richmond City Council resolved that the City of Richmond be declared a "Multicultural City."3 Subsequently, the Multicultural Policy was approved. In one of its policies, it stated that the City of Richmond "is committed to ensuring that municipal bylaws, policies and programs, service delivery, and employment practices address these (multicultural) principles." In 1993, the Richmond City Council endorsed a report prepared by city staff. This report is entitled. "Richmond City Centre Social Principles — Discussion and Implementation." The report recognizes the positive social and economic benefits for the whole community when quality early childhood programs are provided. In the section on community services, the agenda was set to "Ensure that quality, accessible and affordable child care programs are available to all families who require the services." Prevention of racial conflicts and many other social problems, derived from a community with diverse ethnic groups, should begin at the early childhood education stage. Studies have shown that the first few years of children's lives are crucial for intellectual stimulation and growth, at these ages children also form many of their social values (Maynard, 1985). In the case of the City of Richmond, subjected to a rapid influx of immigrants to its communities, inherent communication barriers come about because of many immigrant families' cultural differences and their inadequacies in speaking the official language. Information pertinent to the problems and difficulties facing these immigrant families is limited. The Municipal Council's recognition of Richmond as a multicultural city and its adoption of social policies that set an agenda for achieving quality, accessible and affordable child care programs available to all families who require the services represent a giant step towards building a stable and harmonious community. However, from a planning perspective, such policies and programs are dependent upon accurate and up-to-date information and the maintenance of a database system. 1.6 ORGANIZATION This study is divided into six chapters. Chapter one introduces some general statements of the study and the purpose of this research. Chapter two presents a brief review of applicable literature. The research methodology will be explained, in Chapter three, where the rationale of the designs and procedures of two sets of interviews (the informants and the parents) are explained. Chapter four analyzes the results of the Chinese parents' interviews. The discussions of the concerns of child care issues from these Chinese parents' point of view on Affordability, availability, preservation of their own culture and language, the apparent conflict of the learning/teaching method of early childhood education, and parent and community involvement are presented in Chapter five. The last, Chapter six, includes final conclusions, planning implications and recommendations for future studies. CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The objectives of this study is to create a demographic profile and to investigate child care concerns from Chinese immigrant parents' perspectives in a multicultural setting. In this chapter, we recognize the fundamental principle that philosophical differences, one of the bases for cultural differences, are considered to be the root to many conflicting viewpoints toward the caring and nurturing for young children. Section 2.1 examines the diverse philosophical positions of child care practitioners, early childhood educators, psychologists and child care advocates on the subject of child care. Section 2.2 deals with different conceptual perspectives of quality child care. The aim of studying quality child care is to explore and understand the problems facing child care issues in general, because poor quality is the core concern which embraces many child care problems. Minority parents, like their Canadian counterparts, expect quality child care services for their children. Section 2.3 reviews literature that is relevant specifically to the Chinese as a cultural minority and their child care needs in a multicultural society. Miscommunication caused by immigrants' inabilities to converse in the official language may pose a major threat to the well-being of the immigrant families and their children. Thus, immigrant parents' child care concerns would be further complicated by the language factor. This prompted the review of literature relevant to language development and E S L for preschoolers in section 2.4. Finally, section 2.5 investigates some of the research and research techniques for child care studies, in order to apply the learned knowledge as a guiding tool to the research design of this study. 2.1 C H I L D C A R E PHILOSOPHY 2.1.1 Surrogate Care vs. Maternal Care The dilemma/battle between day care advocates and surrogate care opponents has long been established, and yet, it is still unresolved. Fredelle Maynard (1985) has clearly stated her position on the issue: "My hope is to persuade parents that, if they have a choice, one parent should be chief caretaker for the first three years of a child's life. "(Maynard 1985, Preface) She believes that people do know that day care is not the best solution for young children, but merely a concession. Angela Browne Miller (1990) felt that "parents are economically driven to go to work and to leave their children wherever they can, regardless of the quality of care provided. Their children, along with our young children, are being tossed about in a sea of massive economic, social and political change. They are tangled in the seaweed. Their fates are uncertain. It is, therefore, essential that we ask how we as a society can best handle the tangled problem of child care. How can we meet human need in a responsible and human way?" (Browne Miller 1990, 2) The Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council (1990), subtly explained the child care conflict as follows: Although there is broad consensus that society should promote the healthy development of the next generation and minimize potentially harmful conditions, there is less agreement about what kinds of care are best for children of different ages and for those who are living in different social, economic, and cultural circumstances. There is, similarly, little agreement about who should provide care and who should pay for it. Debate over the appropriate role of government, employers, and parents themselves has intensified in recent years and has led to numerous proposals from leaders of both political parties and a broad array of special interest groups to address the increasing need for child care support and services. (NRC 1990, 8) Loren Lind and Susan Prentice (1992) expressed their points of view on the philosophy of child care in this way: Child care is caught between the opposing poles of human needs and capital formation. On the one hand, caring is intimately tied up in how we define ourselves, in our loving and intimate relationships, in the parts of our lives where, if fortunate, we freely choose and feel cherished. On the other hand, care is also an integral part of economic reproduction, the demands of labour and the profit-making system. (Lind and Prentice 1992, 1) Elly Singer (1992) said that "Feminists have long argued for the provision of day-care facilities so that mothers may be free to work outside the house. The call has enjoyed little support from politicians and experts, however. Feminists have been seen to stand for women's interests, and psychologists and pedagogues for children's — as if the two were opposed." (Singer 1992, 50) In her study, Dai-Hui Yu (1993) interviewed 66 mothers in Taiwan and the results showed that most mothers between the ages of 30 and 35 are happy to stay at home and rear their own children. They believe that well-educated and well-bred children are reflections of their parents. They also believed that one can tell about a person's adulthood when s/he is three years of age and tell about this person's whole life history when s/he is seven years old. In other words, the presentation of a person is affected by his/her upbringing. 2.1.2 Pedagogy of Early Childhood Education The early childhood education theory most widely adopted comes from the work of Jean Piaget: [A]s children develop they move through qualitatively different stages of cognitive organization. Each of these stages affects the style, structure, and content of what a child learns from a given task, at a given stage, depending on the child's previous experiences. Children learn through the conceptual understanding that comes with direct experiences and the manipulation of concrete objects through free play and uninhibited explorations. (Maynard 1985, 113) Robert Owen, a successful industrialist and enlightened pedagogue, believed in rational behaviour and the formation of children's characters from early childhood education and founded one of the first infant schools. (Pence et al., 1994; Singer, 1992) The majority in the infant schools movement that came after Owen in Britain had different objectives to those of Owen. They believed that some human behaviours pose threats to the stability of our society. Many wanted organized infant schools to prevent the invasion of sins and evils. Therefore, these infant schools aimed at obedience, decency, order, submission, mutual courtesy, politeness and industriousness. The most influential actions taken by the infant schools movement is the creation of the 'public education system.' Owen's and many earlier enlightened pedagogues' philosophies on children's self-discipline failed because it is almost impossible to impose this kind of discipline on very young children. Thus, infant schools for older preschool children gradually developed and formal learning at the preschools was adopted. (Singer, 1992) -10-Certain enlightened scholars, namely, Comenius, Locke, Rousseau and Pestalozzi expressed their views on the pedagogy for young children and their family upbringing. They collectively agreed on methods of applying children's potentials in imitation, curiosity, intuitive play and need for action to their education, and rejected "the sin in new born babies, young children did not need to be saved from sin by strict discipline and parental authority... in other words, within each child is the potential good." Singer found that these enlightened pedagogues wanted to "free the child from external authority and traditional manners of upbringing, but... they sought new ways of limiting the child's freedom, and creating a new balance between freedom and commitment." (Singer 1992, 35) In Singer's opinion, the new standards set by the enlightened theories manifested "an ambiguity towards preparatory education in infant schools ... The educative aims were mainly taken from public education: (preparatory) reading, arithmetic, writing, geometry and rhyming. However, the standards for the teaching methods were taken from the ideals of a 'natural development' within the family, with a mother and one or two children. Because of this, at a theoretical level, the infant school found itself with a built-in conflict: the transference of knowledge versus the following of 'nature.'" (Singer 1992, 49) The literature reviewed, in this section, on the rearing philosophy demonstrated the fact that child care advocates and opponents from both sides of the equation agreed that there is a dilemma between surrogate care and maternal care. In addition, different pedagogical philosophies have had a deep-rooted impact on early childhood education. Evidently, the conflict caused by these theories still exists today and still is a much-argued issue. 2.2 Q U A L I T Y C H I L D C A R E Angela Browne Miller's view on quality child care is that "we must seek to learn what good care means to us and what it costs us as a society. And our research methods must include subjective observations." She further stated that "Good care is difficult to quantify." (Miller 1990, 18) In her study, she incorporated her personal involvement with analytical procedures and tried to understand what contributes to quality child care. Her research found that when parents were questioned about the quality of child care, they usually refused to comment; however, guilt arising from an inability to provide their children with quality care will eventually surface, affecting job performances and causing stress. Loren Lind and Susan Prentice wrote that "Quality is the elusive but absolutely central key to the whole child care puzzle." They believed that quality child care is more than just standards and regulations relevant to staff-child ratios, to physical infrastructure, hygiene, health, programming, staff training and other 'technical particulars.' Instead, with generous wages and benefits and due respect to the staff, programs should be culturally sensitive and encourage "egalitarian values: that girls and boys of all races and classes are treated as being equal in their potential, their value, and in their contributions to each other and the community." (Lind & Prentice 1992, 16) The team of Clarke-Stewart, Gruber and Fitzgerald (1994) did a comprehensive study of the quality of day care by going beyond just comparing children's abilities whether in or out of surrogate care. They analyzed how children's abilities were related to well-defined experiences in their "daytime and - 12-day care setting." Their belief is that quality day care lies with cognitive development of the children rather than with the other mostly commonly discussed staff/children ratios, caregiver training, etc. Children's cognitive performance was predicted by the neatness of the physical setting; the amount of reading or singing and lessons by the caregiver; the amount of time the children spent imitating the caregiver; and a style of caregiving that was responsive rather than controlling and the involved individual (one-to-one) teaching rather than touching, playing or helping. (Clarke-Stewart, Gruber and Fitzgerald 1994, 129) The Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education stated that "Poor-quality care, more than any single type of program or arrangement, threatens children's development, especially, children from poor and minority families." (NRC 1990, 97) Table 2.1 shows a list of indicators of quality addressed by professional standards and federal requirements. One of Washington Post's news headlines on February 1995 read: "Study Finds Poor Child Care." The article reported on a two and one-half year study done by researchers from four universities who found mediocrity and consistently poor quality child care in a total of 228 infant-toddler classrooms, 521 preschool classrooms and 826 children. "The report found that the quality of care is primarily related to staff-to-child ratios, staff education, and the administrators' prior experience. Quality services cost more than mediocre care — but not a lot more." In summary, quality of child care, though differing in opinions by researchers representing diverse philosophies and research orientations, can be denned by the basic staff-to-children ratios, staff education, physical infrastructures and health and safety. In particular, for cultural minorities, cultural sensitivities and egalitarian attitudes from the caregivers are also crucial factors. -13 -T A B L E 2.1 Indicators of Quality Addressed by Professional Standards and Federal Requirements Indicator. N A E Y C NBCDI ECERS C W L A FIDCR H/S Caregiver Qualifications and Roles Potential for forming affectionate relationship with familiar care-giver Frequent positive interaction between caregiver and children; caregivers responsive, positive, accepting, and comforting Caregiver training related to child development Opportunities for caregiver training Group Sizes and Ratios Maximum group size Staff/child ratio Curr iculum Content and Structure Curriculum encompassing both socio-emotional and cognitive development Children selecting some activities Experience with cooperative group process Curriculum structured but not overly rigid Children's culture recognized, appreciated Physical Characteristics of Program Child-oriented environment Orderly, differentiated setting Parental Participation Parental involvement Parent-staff conferences and communication X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X x v X SOURCE: Caring for America's Children, 1990 NAEYC: National Association for the Education of Young Children NBCDI: National Hack Child Development Institute ECERS : Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale CWLA : Child Welfare League of America FIDCR : Federal Interagency Day Care Requirementsts H/S : Head Start - 14-2.3 M U L T I C U L T U R A L I S M A N D C H I L D C A R E ISSUES O F C U L T U R A L MINORITIES When studying issues related to Chinese parents' child care perspectives, it is fundamental to examine multiculturalism and its impact on child care heeds of this cultural minority. It is a given fact that Canada is a nation made of immigrants from around the world. In 1966, a White Paper on Immigration indicated that "It is in Canada's best interest to accept, and if need be, to encourage, the entry to this country each year of as many immigrants as can readily be absorbed ... Canada is an underpopulated country by most standards of measurement — a bigger population means increased domestic markets for our industries." (Downie 1985,1) In the early 1900s, Chinese immigrants, who paid a $250 head tax, were predominantly labourers. Canada did not release its restrictions on Asian immigrants until 1967. In the decade following, Chinese immigrants included not only labourers but also students, merchants and professionals who settled mostly in major urban centres. These groups of Chinese immigrants consisted mostly of blue-collar to middle-class families. These immigrants and the earlier workers who built the railways were founders of Chinatowns. During the 1980s, major shifts occurred in the type of Chinese immigrants coming to Canada. Worthy of note is the establishment of the new class, namely, the 'Business Immigrants.' The Canadian government realized that business immigrants could stimulate the stagnating Canadian economy and bring much needed growth to Canada, especially if they brought investments, know-how and entrepreneurship. Initially, each investor and his family were required to invest a minimum of $150,000 Canadian for immigration approval from the have-not provinces and $250,000 for -15 -immigration to the wealthy provinces of B . C . , Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. (These amounts were raised to $250,000 and $350,000 respectively in 1993.) It is likely in investing $250,000, these immigrants must have at least $500,000 net worth in order to be able to settle their families in Canada. This would include the purchase of larger items (houses and cars), living expenses and children's education. Alternatively, if the immigrants do not wish to or cannot afford to invest such a large sum of money in a government-approved business immigrant fund, they can propose a business plan that guarantees to employ a certain number of Canadians and provide employment opportunities. Upon approval of the plan, these immigrants can bring their family and move to Canada on a conditional landing visa. What this means is that they will have to set up a legitimate business and have it up and running prior to the expiry date of their landing visa. Should they satisfy the requirements set out, the conditions on the visa will be removed. The entrepreneurial immigrants will be entitled to Canadian citizenship like any other immigrant. These types of immigrants are generally financially secure business people with families. Unfortunately, there are always exceptions to the rules and it does happen that some lower middle-income people, who sold all their belongings to meet the requirements and moved to Canada, find themselves with little left to meet the demands of a high cost of living standard in Canada. In the business immigrant category there exists a phenomenon called the "astronaut family." These are families that have one parent (fathers) working mainly back at the country of prior residency. The causes were partly attributed to the coming 1997 crisis, which forces many Hong Kong parents who had no alternative but to resettle their families in Canada in order to avoid the takeover by China. -16-Another reason is the problem of unemployment, underemployment caused by language barriers, lack of business opportunities and unfamiliarity with the system. It has been suggested that to avoid high Canadian taxation, these astronaut parents leave their spouses in Canada to care for their children. These families usually suffer the most traumas as the children grow apart from the parent who is away for extended periods and who only comes home and visits as business permits. Many of the family crises are dealt with over trans-pacific telephone conversations. According to SUCCESS'S survey, 18.5% of the total 177 families surveyed fell within this category. Half of these families had been in Canada less than one year and 38.9% had been here from one to three years. (SUCCESS 1991, 10) Once victims of xenophobia, prey to the discriminatory head-tax, the Chinese, whether of Hong Kong, Taiwan or the People's Republic of China, now find Canada, officially at least, a welcome place. We even have a special immigration program to lure them (or at least their money) here. But there are problems still, resentments that arise towards any burgeoning group of immigrants, visible or invisible. Some blame the Chinese for the cost of housing in Vancouver; some resent their success in school, the fashionable clothing, the costly cars. It was all so controllable before. The Chinese were seen as a silent, hard-working, dispassionate people. They kept mostly to themselves, procreating rather particularly, living in tiny, dark rooms, playing mah-jong, gambling in 'dens.' Now, though, they are going beyond their traditional enclaves, are even unblanding the Toronto suburb of Scarborough with a new Chinatown. And this is profoundly unsettling to those who would rather have their multicultural exoticism safely caged, costumed and staged. We are being forced by events both here and abroad, to admit that these are people pushing the boundaries of their stereotype. We are being forced to confront their wholeness. (Bissoondath 1994, 85) What Bissoondath is describing here is the transition from traditional Chinese immigrants to the new Chinese immigrants arriving in Canada with their transformed Chinese culture that is different from that of the earlier Chinese immigrants. Evidently, business immigrants represent a diversion from the traditional Chinese immigrants in that their socio-economic conditions abilities would appear to be significant, and therefore, their needs - 17-are different. Another group that may have very different needs are the refugees. They are often the most disadvantaged group. They need assistance in the most basic physical needs, such as shelter and jobs. However, most of the Chinese refugees have been better educated political fugitives who were studying in Canada at the time of the Tienanmen Square massacre and stayed behind. The independent immigrants are generally young professionals with small families who depend on regular wages to support their families; generally, both parents work. Bissoondath (1994), a writer and an East-Indian-Trinidadian-Canadian living in Quebec, made a strong case in his book, Selling Illusions — The Cult of Multiculturalism in Canada. He discussed the Canadian government's policy on multiculturalism, noting that the policy "with its emphasis on the former or ancestral homeland and its insistence that There is more important than Here, discourages the full loyalty of Canada's citizens." He also believed that ceremonial multiculturalism, which the Canadian government promotes, where major funding is given to ethnic festival celebrations is a shallow measure that has no impact whatsoever in uniting a country that was already divided from additional social divisiveness. The following child care case was presented to illustrate cultural differences. The "Mongolian blue spot" is a light birthmark common to children of Asian and Black descent which often disappears as the child gets older. Three-year-old Joshua Ann and his one-year-old sister Megan were bom with Mongolian blue spots. On their first day in day care in Surrey, B.C., their mother, Jinny Ahn, was informed that they were detained by day care personnel and that, furthermore, the RCMP had been called. The children, she was told, had bruises that appeared to be evidence of child abuse. "They told me they suspected me of beating my children," she said. While police contacted the children's doctor, Mrs. Ahn was not permitted to comfort her distraught toddlers. This was not the first time that Mongolian blue spots had led to problems: in New Brunswick in 1992, three toddlers were abducted by a day-care worker who mistook the spots for bruises. These were certainly honest mistakes prompted by the urge to do good — but is ignorance ever a defence? Mrs. Ahn said, "I think people involved with child care should not be so ignorant of racial differences." They should not be, but it is hardly surprising that they are. we are -18-cognizant of the differences —the shape of the eyes, the colour of the skin — that do not count, but we remain uninformed concerning the ones that do. (Bissoondath 1994, 89) Mock (1986) has the following to say about Multiculturalism: "Multiculturalism means understanding and functioning comfortably within more than one cultural context. When it begins at preschool, it must be an integral part of everyday experience in play, language, art, music, and so on ... At the risk of being repetitive, multiculturalism must be an underlying ethic behind everything we do in the education of our children."4 Basically, she finds that child care needs for a cultural minority are the same as those of Canadian parents. In addition, their problems are compounded by their language and cultural hurdles and lack of understanding of the system as well as cultural shock. Particularly, the employment situation poses a major complication to their need for child care. Mock has made several recommendations to remedy the situation. They are: access to ESL classes, on-site child care for parents taking ESL classes, language assistance to provide qualified interpreters who are knowledgeable about child care issues. In her report, three Chinese from different regions were quoted: A Chinese mother from the East: The mothers mostly stay home with the children because they have so many problems in finding a job. There is hardly anything for the children in the Chinese community. If there was a choice, and if transportation was available, we would very much prefer a good day care centre where the child can learn English or French. But now, because nothing is available, the mothers have to bring the children to the restaurant when they work. What they would like most of all is not a Chinese day care centre, but a 'regular' centre where there was someone who could explain things to them in Chinese. A Chinese woman from Toronto: What Chinese parents really prefer is cleanliness and tidiness in a centre. They would like to have a Chinese worker there so they could explain things and be sensitive to cultural differences and languages. But if they really had a choice or alternatives they would choose home care with a grandparent or another senior, because the children will be individually looked after. Chinese parents fear that in a day care centre group, -19-children will be less precious.1 It is more traditional to have home care with a Chinese person and they would much prefer that. On the other hand, sometimes the more educated parents choose group care. The choice also depends on the age of the child. There are no spaces for infants, so they always choose a senior. A Chinese child care worker from Manitoba: Home care is most prevalent, just as in all cultures that have a history of extended family nurturing. But the middle and upper class are in day care, the working class can't afford day care and there are no subsidized spaces. When given the chance, the preference is an ethno-specific child care centre. The parents in the Indo-China Chinese Association insisted on their own child care centre, so they could ensure the language and the cultural values the children would be getting. (Mock 1986, 14) From these examples, she identified that needs vary according to the following criteria: 1. stage of acculturation, 2. socio-economic status, 3. size of the community, 4. physical and human resources available, 5. norms of the community, and 6. available options. In her article, "Multicultural Early Childhood Education — The Best Place to Start" for the Journal of The Canadian Association for young children, Winter/Spring 1985-88, Mock further explained the rationale for multicultural curriculum development. She argued that multicultural education is important for all children, not only for "ethnic groups" or "visible minorities." She further identified key components that must be included in the teacher's preparation for early childhood education and these are listed as follows. 1. Intercultural awareness 2. Cross-cultural child rearing practices 3. Family and Community Resources 4. Language Development 5. Multicultural curriculum development 6. Historical aspects of immigration and multiculturalism 7. Stereotyping, prejudice, racism 8. Interpersonal experience -20-Downie (1985) prepared a report entitled "Child Care Needs of Immigrants" as part of the background papers for the Report of the Task Force on Child Care. In her report, Downie investigated the child care needs of immigrants and the problems associated with child care for immigrants. She pointed out that the need for child care for immigrants is predominantly socio-economic in nature, where many immigrant families required both parents to work in order to survive. The need for child care originated not only from the need to work but also from the separation from their extended families and 'kinship system' that forced them to find alternative child care arrangements. Having said that, she further examined the problems associated with child care for irnrnigrant families and they are: Affordability, availability, accessibility, language and cultural factors. It is recognized that children from an ethnocultural background would feel more comfortable and secure in an environment that is close to their home environment. In a large urban community, it is usually easier to set up centres for children with the same cultural background. She concluded that "if first generation Canadians are to have equal opportunity, every effort should be made to ensure that the adjustment process begins as early as possible. The design of any child care system should ensure that the need of irnrnigrant parents and children are appropriately considered. "(Downie 1985, 29) She stressed the importance of creating day care centres that provide a multicultural environment through programming to "foster tolerance and appreciation of cultural diversity." In their report, the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council (1990) stated that child care environment can foster a positive "cultural identity" for minority children to avoid the "frequently devastating encounter with the values of the broader society." NRC 1990,121) They also believe that "cultural group identification" starts when children are quite young -21 -and they generally form disapproving views on their own people. In this report, they identified several points on how child care can help these children to have a constructive viewpoint about their own race. 1) Child care programs can incorporate information about the cultural groups of children represented in the care group, and positive portrayals of group members, in educational programs and materials. 2) It is important to build on rather than negate the diverse learning and interaction styles of children (and parents) from minority cultures and thus to foster an early sense of efficacy rather than helplessness in school. 3) Child care can facilitate the development of minority group children through establishing a pattern of parent-teacher collaboration rather than excluding parents from their children's care and early education settings ... Respecting the cultural patterns and child rearing values of families with children in child care can be vital to children's positive adaptation. (NRC 1990, 122) From the literature reviewed in this section, a distinction is found between the American and the Canadian perspectives on multicultural child care. The Canadian system is more sensitive to the needs of minority parents with greater social orientation, while the American is focused more oh children and their education. The American system is concerned with the practicality of how to meet minority child care needs by providing these children with a positive cultural identity and integrating them into the formal school system. In particular, the Americans are concerned that minority children would remain disadvantaged if they cannot benefit from formal education. U.S. scholars believe that education is the key in providing better living standards. Chinese perception on the child care issue is traditional and non-negotiable: children are their parents' responsibilities. This is illustrated by the Chinese saying "Having children and not teaching them, Whose fault is it?" Madame Chen Shine-Mei, wife of a former U.S. Air Force General and a World War D. hero, had this to say about motherhood: "A modern female should start with how to be a good -22-mother and wife. It is not out of style to be a good mother and wife, but to be an irresponsible woman is definitely out of style. Try not to be a second class man, but a first class woman." (Yu 1992, 196) Chinese parents, like many other parents, take great pride in the proper teaching and upbringing of their children. To be able to bring up scholastically outstanding and well-behaved children will give their parents (mothers in particular) great "face." Thus, it is well understood that preschool children's nurturing and care are the sole responsibilities of their parents. However, as soon as these children reach formal school age, they then become the shared responsibility between the state (represented by teachers and schools) and the parents. China, being a communist state, the communal and policing style of child care system is illustrated by Fredelle Maynard, "In Russia, China and Israel — all three, countries which have embraced communal child-rearing in their rejection of a troubled past — emphasis on community has meant a corresponding de-emphasis of individuality... In China three-year-olds take daily classes in Officially Approved Thought, learn to help each other and do most things quietly, either sitting with folded hands or marching two by two. The troubling question is 'Doesn't the lack of individuality stifle creativity?'" (Maynard 1985, 150) Ruth Sidel, in her study on child care in China, confirmed Maynard's point of view on Chinese children's stifled creativity. She commented that "yes, it's likely the Chinese way will produce uniform prescribed thinking and stifle unusual ability or insight, proceeds with scrupulous fairness to point out that modern Chinese regard as creativity whatever furthers their cause in innovative way." (ibid,\5\) -23-2.4 L A N G U A G E D E V E L O P M E N T A N D E S L F O R P R E S C H O O L E R S The Russian poet Kornei Chukovsky once said: "To teach a child to speak well means also to teach him to think well. One is inseparable from the other."5 Fredelle Maynard commented that "through language the child comes to understand himself and the world around him, and to reach out to others. If his language is impoverished, his range of thought and feeUng, and his whole development is circumscribed." (Maynard 1985, 155) Barbara Tizard, in her "Language at Home and at School" found that "children are more talkative at home, and so became more often involved in conversations which enlarged their vocabulary and their understanding. Adult-child conversations averaged twenty-seven per hour, as compared with ten per hour in group care; while group care exchanges tended to be brief, with the teacher moving from child to child, home exchanges were elaborate and extended. "(Maynard 1985, 160) Rudolph Schaeffer calls the language between a mother and her child, which consists of multiple harmonies, "rudimentary dialogue." He says that "Linguistic competence is preceded by communicative competence... The dialogue begins long before the first word is heard ... No one need to teach a child how to talk. The child learns by being spoken to — and the more he's spoken to, the better he learns."6 Michael Rutter, a psychiatrist, finds that parents talk naturally without consciously explaining, narrating, asking and responding to their children and this is "the single most crucial factor for the -24-development of verbal intelligence."7 The Bermuda Day Care study finds that there exists "a clear correlation between emotional adjustment and the quality of language environment."8 Gyda Chud (1983) in her paper, "Working with ESL preschoolers. Meeting the needs of the whole child," has the following to say: Preschool and day care staff are acutely aware that their teacher preparation programs do not address in depth either the theoretical or practical implications of working with E S L children. While E C E graduates demonstrate competency in knowing the individual child, program planning, and interacting with families, the length and design of the course of studies does not permit a comprehensive examination of the specific attitudes, knowledge and skills requisite to meeting the needs of ESL preschoolers. Giving the increased enrolment of immigrant and Canadian born non-English speaking children in early childhood facilities. Preschool personnel recognize the urgency of addressing these issues both for their own personal and professional development as well as for the children in their care.9 Lee Gunderson (1995), in his background paper for "A Three-Year Study of the English Achievement of Immigrant Students," a study which took place from August 1989 to August 1992, examined two types of language proficiency: one is the "Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skill" and the other is "Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency." The results showed that, "After three years of schooling ninety-one percent of the ESL students were below the fortieth percentile in reading comprehension." In other words, these ESL students are two or more years behind in reading comprehension. He believes that this may cause major concern, as the ESL group represented 35% of the school district's population. Consequently, this means that almost 33% of the students cannot read as they should. Results of this study show that "oral proficiency" has higher scores for younger students than older ones and that it takes about one year to become proficient. He recommended further study to explore the multiple issues related to ESL students and schooling. During a personal interview, professor -25-Gunderson explained that the indication from his study showed that it will take an immigrant an average of 5-7 years to be academically competent. Rivers & Associates Consultants (1991) prepared a report on "Settlement Services for Immigrant Children — A Needs Assessment" for the Provincial Ministry Responsible for Multiculturalism and Immigration. In this study, they examined the background of the issue, the profile of the immigrants to British Columbia and their children, funding for ESL children's programs, the profiles of ESL programs in various school districts in the Greater Vancouver Region and in Victoria, issues related to immigration and unmet needs for settlement services. They identified six major issues: teacher training and in-servicing, parental involvement, multicultural understanding and conflict, translation and interpretation, cultural adjustment and health concern. In their study, they found that "many children whose first language is not English will require a minimum of four years of assistance to acquire a proficiency which will enable them to progress academically at the same rate as other children." They also stressed the fact that it is not only immigrant children who need ESL training, but many Canadian-born children whose home language is not English will also need ESL assistance. With the increase in the number of immigrants allowed to enter Canada each year from 1991 to 1995, the study anticipated a drastic increase in the demand for ESL programs for young children. They presented statistics to illustrate situations where Provincial ESL enrollment has increased by 51% from 1989 to 1990 and Richmond's increase from its 1989 enrollment was 65%. Apart from the numbers, the study also looked at some other factors. For example, "Orientation Information: -26-Immigrant families coming to British Columbia frequently do not have an adequate or thorough understanding of the school system, the culture, or the community. While some of this information can only be provided over a period of time as the new family becomes more involved in the new community, other items could be provided in a comprehensive fashion either before immigrants leave their country of origin or after arriving in Canada. This would include information on the structure and philosophy of the school system, the expectations the school system has of students and their families, and on means through which new families can access community resources for health care, recreation, adult language training, social services, etc." (River 1991, 106) Both the Gunderson and Rivers & Associates studies proved that it will take years for immigrant students to become academically competent. However, the two studies differ in the number of years required. Gunderson's study finds that 5-7 years will be needed, as compared to Rivers' 4 years. This suggests that prolonged learning problems due to language deficiency may seriously hinder immigrant students' academic performance as well as their psychological well-being. Consequently, these findings are crucial and have a significant impact on ESL programs for early childhood education, in that appropriate measures to enhance immigrant children's ESL ability should commence at a very early age and at a more concentrated level than those of English speaking children. However, Gyda Chud in 1983 already felt that the inadequacy of dealing with ESL children was the foremost issue needing urgent attention. -27-2.5 R E S E A R C H T E R M I N O L O G Y A N D T E C H N O L O G Y It is well documented in the National Research Council's report that in the past there was an array of psychological research done on child care issues which was considered to be at the "alarming phase, [that] does not address questions of sufficient subtlety or complexity to illuminate the impact of social change." (NRC 1990, 47) They believed that current second phase research is broader in scope and examines factors impacting on child care (e.g., mother's employment situations) that may provide a better understanding of the child care issues. Consequently, the third phase is emerging with an emphasis on examining the linkage and the influences between the home environment and the child care environment. In Fredelle Maynard's opinion, one of the major initial problems with child care research is the terminology. She explained the confusion of the term as follows "Day care," so confidently defended or attacked, is actually an umbrella label for a whole spectrum of care taking arrangements: in-home care by a relative, friend or nanny; care in the home of a relative, friend or friendly stranger; family day care (in the home of a "provider" who takes in a number of children and cares for them along with her own); parent co-ops, small centres run and partly staffed by parents; day care centres caring for preschool children of different ages, with some professional staff and generally a formal program of activities. Centres may be commercial, part of a national chain; they may be non-profit and run by a church, hospital, university or service organization; they may be corporate, owned and run by a large company for its employees; they may be publicly supported by federal or local government. Obviously, these are very different kinds of arrangements, each with its characteristic advantages and disadvantages. "Day care" for a child who goes to Mini-skools is an experience bearing no relation to that of a child who goes down the street to Aunt Gertrude. Generalizations are more than usually treacherous here. (Maynard 1985, 13) -28-She further criticized the techniques applied in many reputable studies where these studies do not represent any real-world scenario. She used as examples research conducted by well-funded university research teams such as the study done by Jerome Bruner of Harvard, who directed Britain's Oxford Preschool Research teams on a model study of children and minders. Her criticism is that "here is information about these particular caretakers, these children." (Maynard 1985, 14) A research study was done at Yale University's Children's House where the centre enjoys a grant from the U.S. Children's Bureau. Harvard Professor Jerome Kagan's experimental day care centre in Boston is another example like Yale's Children's House, where there is sufficient funding provided with a low professionally trained staff to children ratio and well-paid staff that reduces the staff turnover rate. This is not what's happening in the real world. Another technical problem is that the design of the study directs the results of the study with specific type of questions asked. She illustrated this point by answers given by two mothers. The first mother said "After all, the sense of guilt could be overwhelming for some women if they had to acknowledge that their child care arrangements were not satisfactory — especially if they thought them unsatisfactory for the child!" The second mother "if it's [the child care arrangement] unsatisfactory from the mother's point of view, because it's hard on her, that's also difficult to acknowledge. When I was asked that question, I too answered that the arrangement was 'satisfactory.' I didn't know it could be any different than it was and I thought I had no alternative, so why complain? In retrospect, that particular 'package' was the worst arrangement I had since the baby was born four years ago — yet I said I was satisfied with it."10 -29-Angela Browne Miller found that "Social policy analysis suffers a deep schism between its methods of research and its issues of concern. This predicament is especially visible in the case of child care policy." (Miller 1990,17) She conducted her research work through interviews, survey of parents, observations and photographs of children, and constant visits to child care and preschool sites. She believed that the findings on aspects of child care such as quality can be acquired by personal feelings. In other words, she insisted that research of this nature should be on a personal level, that it is acceptable to use subjectivity in well-studied research. Elly Singer challenges the choices made by scientists who apply convincing scientific methods to isolate certain attributes from reality. The outcome of these studies worried her to the point of asking these questions: "What is revealed and what is concealed? what experiences are clarified, and what disappears into obscurity? what values and standards form the basis of this?" (Singer 1992, 13) Finally, Harvard Professor Jerome Kagan has the following to say about research studies done on child care: "The wise citizen who is trying to use facts to make decisions should view most psychological conclusions with great caution." (Maynard 1985, 24) In this chapter, comparative philosophical differences on child care between American, Canadian and Chinese authorities were reviewed in order to illustrate their influence on issues like surrogate care vs. maternal care and those related to opposing pedagogic strategies for early childhood education. In addition, various definitions of quality child care were examined for the purpose of arriving at a working definition. Multiculturalism, the child care needs of a cultural minority, language development and ESL education for preschoolers constitute the main focus of this study. A review -30-of relevant literature and research studies suggested that minority parents, while faced with problems similar to their Canadian counterparts, are further hampered by language difficulties, cultural differences and their unfamiliarity with the system. A review of studies focusing on the language development of immigrant children residing in B.C. revealed that the subjects are 4-7 years behind their Canadian counterparts in academic competence. In another study, delivery of preschool ESL services was found to be impeded by a lack of the requisite skills for dealing with ESL preschoolers. Finally, the strengths and weaknesses of social policy analysis and its methodologies were examined in order to serve as a guideline for this study. The next chapter outlines the methodology. CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY 3.1 DESIGN A N D LIMITATIONS O F T H E STUDY This study is designed to collect required data from two major sources: 1) personal interviews with key informants, and 2) personal interviews with Chinese immigrant parents. The study is based on data collected from Chinese parents. Information gathered from key informant interviews was used, as the basis, for the design of the guided questions for Chinese parents' interviews. As evidenced by the literature review presented in the previous chapter, child care research is replete with obstacles and difficulties and subject to many limitations. The lack of random sampling which prevent the results to be generalized is one of the limitations of this study. First of all, a list of the Chinese parents who have children at the age in need of child care is non-existent. Different Chinese, multicultural or immigrant organizations may have some sort of membership list, but they still represent only a fraction of the total unidentifiable population. It was explained by these organizations that it is very difficult to track immigrants. When they first arrive they usually stay with friends, relatives or rent a place temporarily until such time when they become more aware of the environment and make their final decision as to which neighbourhood they prefer. Secondly, taking into consideration the political history and the cautiousness of Chinese people, random samples drawn for telephone interviews and mail-out questionnaires have extremely low participation rates, which may be deemed unsatisfactory for this particular study. Although it is preferred in statistical analysis to draw random samples from a defined population, the cost associated -32-is another factor which prevented the researcher from having a large mail out in order to achieve better return rates. Because the survey was conducted at public places, results may be influenced by the lack of representation from working parents who do not have as much time to be at these places during the day or even on a weekend. This study has taken great care to ensure that the data collected from both the parents and key informants was as accurate as possible and special attention was paid to the translation in order to preserve its authenticity. 3.2 S U B J E C T R E C R U I T M E N T The two groups targeted for the interviews had to meet certain criteria: one is the key informant group, which includes child care advocates, educators, practitioners, caregivers and community workers; the other is the group of Chinese parents who are residents of Richmond with children under the age of seven. Two alternatives were considered for the recruitment of subjects for this study. One alternative was to arrange for group interviews by allowing caregivers or community workers from different facilities to arrange for the interviews, The drawback of this method is the possible bias of pre-selection whereby day care centres or preschools would invite parents with whom they can communicate or those who are most satisfied with the arrangements. The other method was to recruit parents -33 -randomly; this approach has a more realistic representation of the subjects and they may feel free to discuss the issues more openly than in a group or school setting. Of the 91 people interviewed, 75 were Chinese parents. These parents were contacted at local Chinese shopping malls, the Richmond Cultural Centre which encompasses the Aquatic Centre and the Library, and Weekend Chinese Language School at Burnett Junior Secondary School and Richmond Senior Secondary School. The distribution of these samples was fairly even from all locations. Most of the parents were accompanied by their young children during the interviews and most of these children were visibly under the age of seven. The age of seven is used as one of the criteria due to the fact that many immigrant children at the age of seven are still lacking sufficient English to be enrolled in regular grades; therefore, many are either in kindergarten or ESL classes. Only two of the families interviewed had three children under the age of seven and 24 families had two children under the age of seven. The recruitment of key informants were primarily through referrals, directories of local community services and lists of licensed care facilities from the Richmond Health department. 3.3 D A T A C O L L E C T I O N 3.3.1 Key Informant Interviews There were two open-ended questions designed for the informant interviews; one is directed to the care providers, the other is directed to the community workers. -34-All informant interviews were done at the work premises of the informants, which are: day care centre, licensed family day care, unlicensed family day care, preschool, Richmond Connections and S U C C E S S . (Richmond Branch), Richmond School Board, Child Study Centre and Language Department of Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia. Interviews varied from 20 minutes to as long as 3 hours. 3.3.2 Chinese Parent Interviews There was a list of guided interview questions prepared in English (see Appendix A).' However, since many Chinese parents would feel more at ease if these interview questions were in their own language, a question sheet was made available in Chinese (see Appendix B). Most of the interviews with Chinese parents were conducted in Chinese. The design of the guided questions was based on an accumulation of data from various sources; much was derived from the issues raised at the informant interviews, literature reviewed and from the advisors for this research. Prior to conducting the survey, the researcher was fully aware of the difficulties involved in interviewing Chinese people — this was confirmed by other researchers who had previous experience working with some Chinese people. It was also explained by a Chinese community worker, whose group had experienced an unsuccessful survey with no responses, that this may be attributed to the reserved personality and cautious manner of the Chinese people who were sent questionnaires or simply because of the limited time factor. After careful planning, a decision was made to conduct these interviews at open public places with detailed explanations as to the purpose of the survey. As well the researcher produced proper student identification. -35-When the survey was conducted in local Chinese shopping malls, mall management set up tables and large bulletin boards announcing the interviews at strategic locations such as the entrance to the food court where there is the most traffic. The bulletin board gave a visible sign explaining the survey. Some parents were curious as to the activity and approached the table voluntarily. However, most of the parents were approached by the researcher with an invitation to be interviewed. A self-explanatory consent form explaining this project, translated from English to Chinese, was given to the parents. Most parents were pleased to be part of this student research project, as they felt education to be of extreme importance. They wanted to understand the process and be of help to better the future of their children or the future generation (some parents even further expressed their wishes for their children to be able to enroll at UBC when they grow up). There was also a pre-screening to determine which parents met the criteria by (1) being a resident of Richmond and (2) having children under the age of seven. There was a cutoff time of two and one-half weeks assigned for the parent interviews and, by the end of the assigned time, 75 parents had been interviewed. 3.4 D A T A ANALYSIS In this study, all data collected was inputed into the program of the Statistical Package for Social Science for Personal Computer+ (SPSS/pc+). As the purpose of this study is to identify a trend and develop a broader view of the Chinese parents' perspectives on child care, basic statistical techniques were engaged in analyzing the data. Initial analysis summarizing frequencies, means, medians and modes for each variable where applicable were done to illustrate a full spectrum of what this data represented. "For interval and ratio variables, the -36-arithmetic mean, or average, is usually a better measure of central tendency than either the mode or the median." (Norusis 1991,106) However, in this study, as most variables are nominal variables, the mean value is not a good measure for central tendencies. Consequently, the data was mainly summarized with median and mode values for central tendencies. To conclude, as Miller (1990) explains in the previous chapter, a problem common to all child care research is that methods are isolated from "issues of concern." With this caveat in mind, she made the decision to base her study on interviews and visits to child care and preschool sites. In this study, the methodology was predicated on Miller's approach with all research conducted on the basis of on-site interviews. Parental participation at interviews was unexpected high, the parents themselves, open and their children well-behaved. The informants were friendly, helpful and cooperative. The next chapter will analyze information collected from these interviews and develop demographic profiles. -37-CHAPTER FOUR CHARACTERISTICS OF THE IMMIGRANT FAMILIES In this chapter, the focus is on interpreting the results derived from the interviews. The analysis is based on the answers given by the parents in the interviews. Subject to statistical principles, this information is applied to the 75 parents interviewed and not to Richmond's Chinese population in general. 4.1 P R O F I L E O F CHINESE I M M I G R A N T PARENTS 4.1.1 Type of Immigrant Relevant literature relating type of immigrants and child care concerns and choices is limited. The recent shift of Canadian immigration policies toward increasing business class and independent immigrant class and reducing the traditional family class immigrants is still too new to have any impact significantly documented. However, the 1991 S U C C E S S . Women's Committee Research Group did a survey on Chinese Immigrant Women's Needs in Richmond and found that 49% of the total 177 women surveyed are independent immigrants who had worked before they came to Canada. The report stated that "Nearly half had stopped working in order to care for their children and families. This suggests a great need for affordable and quality child care services. Skilled and educated women should not be barred from work by the lack of child care facilities." (SUCCESS 1991, 16) -38-A mother, an interviewee, came from Hong Kong with her husband as independent immigrants. They live in the Richmond centre area with their 5-year-old son. They have no extended family in the lower mainland area. The mother explained her current child care situation as follows: I was working happily until I started to have child care problems. These problems are associated with the inflexibility of schedules and inaccessibility. My previous job required me to work overtime, but the centre closes at six o'clock sharp with no room for negotiation. I had no choice but to quit my job and stay home to care for my son. If the day care centres can be closer to local schools this will facilitate the delivery of children to and from centres, as friends with children going to nearby schools can help out by dropping and picking up the children. My situation is not an isolated one, two other friends of mine are experiencing the exact same problems. They are also in the positions where both husbands and wives need to work, but because of these problems the wives are staying home caring for their children, which causes financial strains. Figure 4.1 illustrates that, of the 75 parents interviewed, 37% were independent immigrants, 30% business immigrants which includes both investor and entrepreneur immigrants, 29% were family class, 3% were refugees and just 1% were non-permanent. Figure 4.1 Type of immigrant M M O F G R A N T T Y P E Non-Permanent Business Class Family Class Independent Refugee Missing 0 10 20 30 40 Percent - 3 9 -4.1.2 Length of Stay In her 1977 report prepared for the City of Toronto Social Planning Department, Laura Johnson talks of her survey of 742 immigrants. She found that the length of stay in Canada and the degree of acculturation influence the preferences for type of child care arrangements. (Mock, 1986) Applying Laura Johnson's finding, this study looked at the length of stay of the immigrant family as a factor influencing many of the child care decisions made by Chinese parents. Figure 4.2 shows that 35% of the parents interviewed had been in Canada 3-10 years, followed by 26% who had been here less than one year. Twenty percent for 1-3 years and only 19% for over 10 years. Figure 4.2 Length of Stay s T A Y O F L E N G T H Over 10 Years Under 1 Year 3-10 Years 1-3 Years Missing 0 10 20 30 40 Percent -40 -A three-year cumulative stay in Canada is the minimum requirement for Canadian citizenship. Three years, therefore, was used as the benchmark for acculturation in this study, because after meeting the time requirement, immigrants are requested to gain basic knowledge about Canada in preparation for their citizenship tests. Under three years immigrants are generally considered to be less acculturated to the Canadian environment. Between 3-10 years immigrants are gradually settling in and over 10 years they should be considered as Canadianized in some of their thinking and actions. The results indicate that 55% of the parents have been in Canada over three years. 4.1.3 Country of Origin As previously explained, although a Chinese community consists of people from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, all these Chinese do not necessarily have unified experiences and outlooks. To identify the country of origin of these Chinese parents is important to the composites of the profile. The survey (Figure 4.3) shows that the proportion of Chinese immigrant parents interviewed from Hong Kong (72%) was consistent with statistics showing that the majority of the Chinese population in Richmond is from Hong Kong. The second largest group interviewed was from Taiwan (18%) and the remaining was made up of Chinese from China and other countries. Difference in the country of origin will impact most definitely on English-as-a-second-language ability due to the fact that Hong Kong is a British Colony. This is also proven by the large number of professional independent immigrants from Hong Kong as they are more accustomed to the English -41 -language and more familiar with western culture under the British rule, which facilitates their search for employment in Canada. Figure 4.3 Country of Origin O R G O F C O u N T R Y N Hong Kong Missing Taiwan Others China 0 20 40 60 80 Percent 4.1.4 Family Composition The number of families with children at home in Richmond has become smaller despite an increase in the total population. There has been a decrease in family size from 3.7 in 1971 to 3.1 in 1991; the average number of children has decreased from 1.7 to 1.2 for the same period of time. With Chinese families, a similar decrease in size corresponds to that of the city. Eighteen percent of the people interviewed belong to "astronaut" families (married, spouse away), only 3% were single parent families and 1% was a guardian family. The dominant family composition (77%) was both parents living with their children in Richmond. -42-In one example, a mother from Hong Kong sadly explained her situation about the few occasions when the "astronaut" father came home to visit; there were constant confrontations at home between the father and the children. The father would consequently blame the mother for not doing her job in distiplining their children and usually leave in anger. Once the father leaves, the mother is left alone to deal with the stress and upset. She felt that differences of opinions between the children and the father are caused by the fact that, in a short period of time, the children have outgrown their traditional Chinese values and quickly adapted to the Canadian values, while the father, who still remains in the homogenized Chinese environment, finds it particularly difficult to accept his children's drastic changes. With the absence of the father, who is customarily the discipliner in a Chinese family, many mothers find it difficult to act as both parents and to cope with the changes of a new environment, language barriers, learning new systems and at the same time running a family alone. Another young mother from Taiwan, with an "astronaut" husband, was living with her two daughters aged two and three. During the interview, she was in tears when she described her situation and problems with child care. Having her husband away and no extended family around to help her, she felt overwhelmed with responsibilities and experienced many frustrations with the difficulties of finding the right care for her children. Having two young children at home, she felt she needed some help with rearing these children. Her husband being absent, she is worried about safety and afraid to find a nanny without knowing the person's background. She has tried day care centres, but found the waiting list very long. Sixty-three percent have just one child, 34% have two children and 3% have three children. Figure 4.4 shows children's age distribution. In this study, 54% of the children are boys and 46% are girls. -43 -Figure 4.4 Children's Age Distribution A G E Between 3 and 5 Under 3 G R 0 U P Between 5 and 7 0 10 20 30 40 Percent 4.1.5 Socio-Economic Status In Mock's opinion that "Child care preferences depend far more on an individual family's socio-economic status and on the options available within the local community, than they do on the cultural, ethnic or racial group to which the family belongs." (Mock 1986, 13) As previously explained, unemployment or underemployment has a major impact on immigrants' lives; The reserved and cautious nature of most Chinese results in a general unwillingness on the part of interviewees to divulge personal financial information. Therefore, this study has focused on employment and the area of residence as a means of inferring socio-economic status. It is important to note that sensitivity in questioning about employment status is very important in order to not embarrass those who had to give up their well-paid and well-positioned jobs and now find themselves unemployed in Canada. One immigrant father explained the importance of having a - 44 -job in this way: "I don't want my children going to school and when asked about what does his father do, he will have to reply 1 don't know.' More importantly, I don't want my children to see me sitting at home doing nothing and think this is the correct way to life." This scenario makes it easy to understand how important it is both psychologically and physically for Chinese fathers (or any father) to be employed. The responses gathered from the interviews indicate that 44% of the fathers were self-employed, 29% had full-time employment, 1% have part-time jobs and the remaining were recorded as missing values. In other words, the missing values presumably represented 25% of fathers who were unemployed. "Astronaut" fathers were also included in the survey as either self-employed or full-time employees. Mothers' employment status shows 65% as missing values — again these are the mothers not employed or who are homemakers. Only 15% of the mothers have full-time jobs, 8% work part-time and 12% are self-employed. Twenty-four percent of the families were double income, where both parents work. The majority of the families (51%) were single-wage earners where only the father works. A high percentage (16%) of the interviewees were of families where neither parent worked. One other important socio-economic factor is the area of residence. Figure 4.5 shows that 33% of the families were living in Area 1 (see Appendix A) and another 33% of the families lived in Area 4 (city centre). The next large group, 15% of the families, lived in Area 2. A small number of families were from Areas 3,5 and 6. -45 -Figure 4.5 Area of Residence A R E A 0 F R E S 1 D E N C E A2 - SouthWest A4- Centre A5 - North A6 - East 40 Percent T A B L E 4.1 Area of Residence By Planning Area And Average Income AREAS INCOM A R E A 1 Thompson Centre Broadmoor Blundell Seafair $57,900$ A R E A 2 Steveston Gilmore Broadmoor Blundell Seafair $65,700 A R E A 3 Shellmont Gilmore Broadmoor $66,600 A R E A 4 Cambie W Centre Broadmoor McLennan $56,500 A R E A 5 Cambie E East* Bridgeport $55,700 A R E A 6 East* $61,100 Source:Richrnond Planning Department, Health Department, Statistics Canada, 1991 Census, Semi-custom Data retrieval by Richmond Planning Area. *East - East Richmond -46-In Table 4.1 the income figures above show that 33% of Chinese families residing in Richmond live in Area 1 where the averaged annual income is $57,900; another 33% live in Area 4 ($56,500) and 15% in Area 2 ($65,700. ) In summary, the quantitative findings of the interviews clearly illustrate a profile of the 75 Chinese immigrant parents in Richmond. The largest groups interviewed were independent and business class immigrants, mainly from Hong Kong, who had been living in Canada between three and ten years. Seventy-fiVe percent of the families were married parents living with their children in Richmond. One unusual phenomenon is the 18% "astronaut" families whose children lived with their mothers in Richmond while their fathers were working and living abroad over extended periods. Sixty-three percent of the families had just one child. Socio-economically, nearly a quarter of the families were double income families with both parents working. However, the majority were sole wage earner families with only fathers working. Sixty-six percent of the families live in Area 1 and Area 4 where average annual income ranges between $56,500 - $57,900. 4.2 T Y P E O F C A R E As shown in Figure 4.6 half of the parents (50%) cared for their own children. Excluding the combined care of parents and other care, there is less than one third of the children in full-time surrogate care. Downie (1985) stated that most immigrants do not have a preference over the type of care for their children. Some immigrant parents may prefer centre care simply because of the educational and -47-developmental programs provided. Yet, some others may prefer sitters since most of them are of the same cultural background. Contrary to this view, Laura Johnson (1977) found that many different ethnic groups prefer day care centres for their three-year-olds. Karen Mock, in her report, also found that, given choices, immigrant parents prefer "culturally and racially integrated centre-based care." (Mock 1986, 19) Figure 4.6 Type of Care T Y Parent P £ Parent & Preschool Parent & Kinder O F Parent & Nanny Q Parent & Daycare A Parent & Rel. & Kind R E Parent & Pres. & Kin Nanny Nanny & Kinder Relative Relative & Kinder Daycare Percent With reference to these opposing views, this study examined the existing child care arrangements and their relationship to the factors identified in the parent profile. Crosstabulations of the relationships between the type of care arrangement and the parent profile factors were calculated. - 4 8 -4.2.1 Type of Immigrant The study found that in the business class only 10% used surrogate care (nanny and Kindergarten), 90% used parental care (55% parent care only and 35% combined care from parents and other care). The business class was also the largest group using preschool care. Family class showed 57% parental care. This group was also the largest group using relative care. The independent class had the lowest percentage in sole parental care (2%) and was the only group using day care services (4%). Like the business class, the second most used type of care was the combined care of parent and preschool. In the refugee and non-permanent categories, the only type of care used was parental in-home care. In this study, all immigrant groups except independent immigrants used mostly the parental in-home care. 4.2.2. Length of Stay Johnson (1977) found that child care arrangements were influenced by immigrant parents' acculturation. However, in this study, length of stay had no significant impact on the type of care used by this group of parents. Basically, most parents used parental in-home care. -49-4.2.3 Country of Origin Parents from China and other countries had the highest percentage in parental care, 80% and 100% respectively. The remaining 20% of the parents from China used relative care. Hong Kong parents were the most diverse in their choice of care. They were the only parents using day care services, albeit only one family. Forty-eight percent of the families used parental care and 19% used combined parent and preschool care. Most Taiwanese parents used parental care (43%). The next two largest groups were using a nanny and the combined care of parent and kindergarten, both at 21%. 4.2.4 Family Status In this category, 50% of the single parents used parental care and the other 50% used nanny care. The largest group, married parents living with their children, primarily used parental care (49%); the rernaining 51% were distributed through all the available child care arrangements. Fifty percent of the "astronaut" families used parental care, 42% in combined care of parent and preschool or kindergarten. The results show that astronaut families used exclusively parental in-home care or combined parental and surrogate care. This scenario may be due to the fact that most mothers without the assistance of their spouses had to concentrate their efforts on the caring and nurturing of their children. -50-4.2.5 Father's Employment Status This analysis was intended to look at how the economic factor would affect the type of care. The results show that of families where fathers were full-time employees, 41% used parental care, 18% used nanny and relative care. This was the only group using day care services. Preschool had lower use rates than the group where fathers were self-employed (9%). Self-employed fathers' children used more types of care except day care. Where fathers worked part-time, children were cared for by the parents. The findings indicate that where fathers worked full-time, surrogate care was more likely to be used than in any other group. 4.2.6 Area of Residence The three largest areas (Area 1,2, and 4) were studied and it was found that in the Area 1 (West Richmond) area, 52% used parental in-home care, 24% combined care (parent and preschool) and 12% nanny care. Area 2 (Southwest Richmond) is the area with the least parental care at 36% and equally distributed 18% to nanny and relative care. In the City centre area (Area 4), 44% of the parents used parental care and 56% used most of the other available types of care, in particular, nanny (12%), kindergarten (16%) and preschool (8%). Table 4.2 exhibits the relationship between children's age distribution and their area of residence. -51 -T A B L E 4.2 Area of Residence by Children's Age Group Children's Age Group Resident Under 3 3 - 5 6 - 7 Row Total A R E A 1 14 39% 18 47% 8 50% 40 45% A R E A 2 5 14% 6 16% 1 6% 12 13% A R E A 3 2 5% 1 6% 3 3% A R E A 4 13 36% 11 29% 6 38% 30 34% A R E A 5 3 8% 1 3% 4 4% A R E A 6 1 3% 1 1% Column 36 38 16 90 Total 40% 42% 18% 100% Based on the August 1994 list on registered licensed care facilities, provided by the Richmond Health Department, a total of 1,561 spaces were available for pre-school children (out-of-school care was excluded). For Area 1, a total of 450 spaces were available: 8% for group care for children under 3 years, 24% for the 3-5 group care, 23% for family day care, 41% for preschool and 4% for child minding. A total of 384 spaces were available in Area 2. There was no infant care for this area and only 5% of the group day care for children 3-5. Forty-one percent of the spaces were for preschool and 36% for family day care. In Area 4, the total available spaces were 284. Four percent of the -52-spaces for the under 3 group care, 56% for 3-5 group care, 10% for Family day care and only 30% for preschool. No child minding was available for this area. Preschool care had the most spaces (428) for these three areas combined. This was followed by 3-5 group day care at 286 spaces and family day care at 273 spaces. From Table 4.2, the results show that Area 1 and 2 had similar age distribution of children living in these areas. Area 4 has more children aged three and under and has 22% more children of all ages than Area 2. However, based on the list provided, Area 4 (high density city dwelling) had 100 fewer spaces than Area 2. In summary, this section studied the relationships between various characteristics and the type of care. The results showed that type of immigrant, length of stay in Canada, country of origin and even family status had very little or no significant impact on the type of care chosen. The reasons for only two families having children in day care centres, as explained by six mothers, were simply that no space was available and the waiting list was too long. Even if they would prefer to leave their children in a day care centre, which these parents believe would enhance their children's ability in English and foster easy integration into the Canadian mainstream society, it is almost impossible. One third of the Chinese parents expressed their desire to personally care for their own children, at least until the children attend kindergarten. One mother adamantly said that she will not part with her children until they go to primary school. -53-It is important to note that the categories of licensed and unlicensed family day cares had not been used by this group of parents at all. The most popular form of care is still with the parental in-home care, the next largest group being the combined care of in-home parental and preschool. Socio-economic factors studied indicate that the type of care used could be influenced by the area of residence and the father's employment status. For instance, Area 2 (Southwest Richmond), a community of stable, middle-income families, more child care spaces were provided. Given these viable alternatives, parental care by the parents was lower. Families where fathers had full-time employment used surrogate care, namely, nannies, preschools and day care more than other families. 4.3 TENDENCIES In this section, associations between different variables will be studied in order to gain insight in these parents' perspectives on child care. 4.3.1 Preferred Language and Cultural Backgrounds of Caregivers The term caregiver is referred to by all non-parental child care providers including preschool teachers, day care operators, relatives, nannies and kindergarten teachers. On the basis of interviews with informants and a literature review, it was concluded that immigrant parents have preferences with regard to the language and cultural background of caregivers. Figure 4.7 shows that 34% of the parents preferred Chinese caregivers who can speak English and understand some Canadian culture and 22% preferred Canadian-born Chinese [CBC] who can speak - 54-some Chinese and understand some Chinese culture. Meanwhile, 28% of the parents had no preference and 3% declined to answer. In other words, 69% of the Chinese parents have preferences regarding caregivers, cultural and language backgrounds. Figure 4.7 Preferred Language and Cultural Backgrounds of Caregivers Missing C A R E G I Chinese - No English V Chinese - Some Eng. CBC - No Chinese E R B A C K CBC - Some Chinese G ^ Canadian U N No Preferences D 40 Percent Forty percent of the parents from Hong Kong preferred caregivers of Chinese origin with Canadian knowledge, while 50% from China and 43% from Taiwan preferred CBCs with some Chinese knowledge. The only group who preferred Chinese caregivers with only Chinese knowledge, were Hong Kong parents (6%). All the parents from China clearly stated their preferences, whereas 33% of Hong Kong and 14% of Taiwanese parents had no preference. The indifference on the part of parents from Hong Kong is explained by two factors: one is the high percentage of independent immigrants who view preferences as luxuries they cant afford; second, as professionals many of these parents possess ESL skills that they believe can be taught their children. 55 -The analysis of preferred caregiver background by type of immigrant suggests that the caregivers most preferred by all types of immigrants are Chinese possessing some English language proficiency. This is particular the case for independent immigrants, a fact that may be attributed to their employment situation which requires greater interaction with English-speaking people. Most family class parents availed themselves of in-home parental and relative care. With the result that 50% of family class immigrants had no preferences. All 100% of the refugee class preferred CBCs possessing some Chinese knowledge. For many parents the age of their children affected their preferences with regard to caregiver backgrounds. For children aged 3 and under the most preferred caregiver background was Chinese caregivers with Canadian knowledge (36%). For children aged 3 and 5, the most preferred was again Chinese caregivers with Canadian knowledge (41%), followed by CBCs with Chinese knowledge (24%) and 21% had no preference. For children between the ages of 6 and 7, 44% had no preference and 28% preferred Chinese with some Canadian knowledge. The results suggest that parents of young children consistently prefer Chinese caregivers who possess Canadian knowledge. Parents with older children were less concerned over this issue. When examining the frequencies of communication between parents and caregivers, it was found that 100% of the parents who only communicate when necessary and those who communicate occasionally preferred Chinese caregivers with Canadian knowledge. As for those parents who communicate frequently with their caregivers, 33% preferred CBCs with no Chinese, 25% had no preference and 17% preferred Canadians. It is clear from these results that language is a major factor influencing preferences with respect to caregiver backgrounds. Those parents who experienced -56-difficulties in communicating with caregivers desired a Chinese background while 50% of those who communicated frequently with caregivers and, ipso facto, may be assumed to possess strong ESL skills, preferred English-speaking caregivers. Forty percent of the mothers who spoke fluent English had no preference over the backgrounds of the caregivers and 35% wanted Chinese caregivers with Canadian knowledge. For those mothers who spoke adequate English, the scenario was different. This is the only group who preferred Chinese caregivers with no Canadian knowledge (10%). Thirty percent preferred Chinese with Canadian knowledge and 10% preferred Canadians. Mothers that had minimal or no English at all preferred CBCs with Chinese knowledge. Fathers' ESL ability influenced the choice of caregivers in a way slightly different from that of mothers'. Thirty-three percent of the fathers who spoke fluent English had no preference and 30% preferred Chinese with Canadian knowledge. Twenty percent of fathers who spoke adequate English had no preference and 29% preferred Chinese with Canadian knowledge. The majority of the fathers who had minimal or no English preferred Chinese with Canadian knowledge. In this section, analysis on preferences on language and cultural backgrounds of caregivers suggests that Chinese parents have preferences as to the cultural and language background of their children's caregivers and it was overwhelmingly Chinese caregivers who spoke English with Canadian knowledge. However, it would appear that their preferences were influenced by socio-economic factors and their English abilities. One of the Chinese preschool teachers found that, in her class, most of the children's parents had minimal English. They felt more comfortable to have their children cared -57-for by her, simply because they can communicate easily with her and she is better able to understand their problems. A high percentage of parents from the business and family classes had no preference. It would seem that business class parents with English language proficiency are more concerned over caregivers' qualifications and family class parents have little choice but to choose the one that is the most affordable and available. 4.3.2 English-as-a-Second Language This chapter has identified language issues as exerting the greatest impact on child care problems facing cultural minorities. This study recognizes that conversational ability is an inadequate indicator of overall communication skills and that, as reading and achieving writing proficiency is an integral part of learning a second language. This researcher believes that for people who's first language is outside the Indo-European language system, emphasis should be placed on phonics and grammars, in particular for young children, as a way of developing basic reading and writing skills. This study finds that the comparison of parents' English fluency to their immigrant status revealed that 86% of business immigrant parents felt that their English was more than adequate (i.e., in conversation, reading and writing). Seventy-one percent of the independent group, and 37% of family class parents also felt that their English was more than adequate. -58-Forty percent of the fathers from China had minimal English, in comparison to fathers from Hong Kong (14%). Of all the fathers interviewed from Taiwan, 50% spoke fluently, 50% adequately and none had no English. Sixty-one percent of the Hong Kong fathers spoke fluently and 25% adequately. This indicated that 58% of the fathers from most countries spoke fluently in English. In addition, 50% of fathers from all countries read well and 48% wrote well. Mothers from Hong Kong had the highest percentage in English fluency, followed by Taiwan. Most of the mothers from all countries considered their English adequate but over 20% had no English. Again, mothers from Hong Kong read and write better English than mothers from other countries. In general, over 20% of the mothers neither read or write English. Seventy-five percent of the children from Hong Kong in the oldest child group spoke fluent English and 13% respectively from China and Taiwan. Overall, 68% of the children in this group spoke fluent or adequate English. Eighty percent of the children from all the countries couldn't read and 73% could not write in English. Children of the oldest child group from independent immigrant families had the highest percentage in speaking fluent English (42%), followed by business class families (29%) and family class families (24%). Seventy-three percent of the children from all immigrant classes could not read and 79% could not write. The independent immigrant children by far had the best ability to read and write in comparison to the other classes of immigrant children. -59-Figure 4.8 exhibits children's ESL conversational ability by age groups. In this figure, it is confirmed that children's ESL conversational abilities are related to their age. Figure 4.8 Children's E S L by Age Group C 50 A G E G R O U P • Under 3 Hi Between 3 and 5 • Between 5 and 7 Fluent Adequate E S L CONVERSATION Minimal None Parents' communication frequency with caregivers were understood to be affected by their ESL ability. This study confirmed that 67% of the parents who spoke fluent English communicated with their children's caregivers most frequently while only 5% of the parents who had no ESL communicated frequently. These findings apply to their reading and writing abilities. In this section, the results suggest that business and independent immigrant parents possess the best overall English abilities. This finding corresponds to their children's English ability. Furthermore, the ESL abilities of children from Hong Kong correspond to both mothers' and fathers' and are the best of all immigrant groups in overall conversation, reading and writing. - 6 0 -This study found that close to 80% of the children could not read or write basic English. Furthermore, an alarming situation where children of the oldest age group who had been here for over three years in their parents' opinions still had minimal or no reading and writing abilities. 4.3.3 Children's Home Language This study found that 77% of children from Hong Kong and 71% from Taiwan spoke fluently in their home language; however this was true for only 40% from China. This latter discrepancy may be explained by the subject's relative young age. Over 50% of the children who had been in Canada for less than three years spoke their home language fluently, while only 15% whose parents had been here over 10 years were still fluent. Seventy-eight percent of the children could not read in their home language and 79% could not write it — this corresponds with the length of stay in Canada. A crosstabulation of oldest child's home langauge and ESL conversational ability found that 11% of the children were both fluent in English and Cantonese. Twenty-two percent were adequate, 43% were minimal and 24% had no conversational abilities in either language. For the Mandarin-speaking children, 27% were fluent in both languages, 36% were adequate. Sixty-seven percent of the children in bilingual families (Cantonese and Mandarin) spoke adequately and 33% had no ability. Seventy-five percent of the children from trilingual families (Cantonese, Mandarin and English) spoke fluently. -61 -This study showed that the length of stay directly affects children's home language abilities, that is to say, the longer they have resided in Canada the less likely they will retain their home language abilities, a phenomenon believed to be attributed to their inadequacies in reading and writing the home language. 4.3.4 Preferred Playmate In this study, it was found overwhelmingly that parents preferred mixed playmates for their children, regardless of their country of origin, what type of immigrants they were and their ESL abilities. In other words, parents prefer integration. 4.3.5 Communication Frequency by Age Group This study found that 88% of the parents with children aged 3 and under, 77% with children aged 3-5, and 71% with children aged 6-7 communicated frequently with caregivers. In other words, parents communicate less with caregivers as the children grow up. This factor may be attributed to the Chinese belief that teachers are to be respected and not challenged, owing to Confucian prescriptions against challenging authorities. -62-4.3.6 Preferred Learning Method Two of the preschool teachers interviewed for this study have experienced situations where Chinese parents misinterpreted the word "school," literarily expecting their children to receive formal, structured, academic teaching at the preschool level. They were dismayed when they found out that their children were supervised by the teachers while learning how to play with dough. In this study, 60% of the parents from China, 63% of the Hong Kong parents and 71% of the Taiwanese parents preferred structured learning for their children. Overall, 63% of the parents preferred structured learning. Seventy-three percent of the parents preferred structured learning for children aged 3-5, and 61% for those aged 6-7. This finding basically suggests that the majority of Chinese parents do prefer structured learning for their children. It is interesting to note that a high percentage of parents who had better ESL ability, including conversation, reading and writing, preferred structured learning than parents who had minimal or no ESL abilities. For example, over 60% of the parents who read adequately or well English preferred structured learning as oppose to 50% of the parents who had no ESL. Figure 4.9 shows that the majority of Chinese parents preferred structured learning methods for their children. -63 -Figure 4.9 Preferred Learning Method o 10 Percent 20 30 40 50 60 70 In this section, parents' preferences over learning method were carefully examined in order to facilitate the understanding of the existing problems between early childhood practitioners and Chinese parents. Interestingly, this study found that the higher their ESL ability, the greater their preference to structured-learning and that the majority of parents do prefer this type of leaning. In their study, Fraser and Coulthard assessed E S L preschools established by the Immigrant Resource Project. They adopted the view that in order to adapt to Canadian culture, cultural minority children must change their behaviour to conform with Canadian culture. They found that while many immigrant parents support this view, many educators do not. (Mock, 1986) In Mock's opinion, "these inconsistent practices of the day care teacher vs. ethnic parents can be detrimental to a child's development." (Mock 1984,11). -64-To conclude, in this chapter, a general profile of the Chinese parents interviewed was created, followed by analysis of type of care chosen by these parents. Evidently, type of immigrant, length of stay in Canada, their country of origins and family status had little or no influence at all on the type of care chosen. The socio-economic factor was the only one found, in this study, that influenced the type of care used. Furthermore, tendencies of Chinese parents' child care preferences on the one hand and their language abilities and socio-economic factors on the other were analyzed. The results show that, first, Chinese parents do prefer their children to play with children from English-speaking and other cultural backgrounds as a means of facilitating their integration into Canadian society, and, second, that most parents prefer structured learning methods. Third, most parents do prefer Chinese caregivers who possess English language proficiency. The next chapter will discuss these parents' concerns. -65 -CHAPTER FIVE CONCERNS OF THE IMMIGRANT PARENTS This chapter analyzes various issues identified in this study through personal interviews with both Chinese parents and key informants. Actual quotes from the interviews are presented here to illustrate the characteristics of these parents' concerns. 5.1 A F F O R D ABILITY A N D A V A I L A B I L I T Y In order to evaluate affordability, parents were asked about the type of care their children were getting and the monthly fees paid. Most parents were caring for their children themselves; many have no idea about the current fee structure. Those who use paid care were reluctant to disclose the fees they pay. However, this behaviour was anticipated. To compensate for the lack of information, parents were asked if they find the fees too high and what would be a reasonable fee. This analysis includes all the responses collected from parents except kindergarten as the service is free. Thirty-two percent thought child care was expensive and 16% felt it was not expensive. Eighteen percent had no idea whether it was expensive or not, because many are recent immigrants (less than one year) and/or are in-home care parents. The remaining third of the parents found it either not applicable or declined to answer. For those who did respond, reasonable rates varied. Table 5.1 exhibits the rates parents felt to be reasonable. -66-Table 5.1 Reasonable Rates for Child Care Services T Y P E OF C A R E RATES $ HOURLY $ 3.00 - $ 5.00 DAILY $ 25.00 - $ 30.00 NANNY, MONTHLY $ 600.00 - $ 700.00 NANNY + HOUSEWORK,* MONTHLY $ 1300.00 - $ 1600.00 DAY CARE - 4 HOURS, MONTHLY $ 100.00 - $ 170.00 DAY CARE - 8 HOURS, MONTHLY $ 300.00 - $ 400.00 PRESCHOOL, MONTHLY $ 80.00 - $ 100.00 * Includes transportation, taxes and medical. Following are some of the comments from these parents: • Yes, it is expensive, I am presently paying $400/month per child for a day care centre and I think it should be $300/month. • Yes, I am currently paying more than average, and I think $400/month is reasonable. • If she is a qualified nanny/caregiver, $900/month is worthwhile. • Yes, it is expensive and governments should subsidize formal education for children aged 3-5 years old and provide assistance to those parents who need child care services with new born babies to 5-year-old children. Sixty-seven percent of the parents interviewed in Richmond are business and independent immigrants. Many are either white collar employees or entrepreneurs/investors. They are, therefore, not as restricted by the high cost, in contrast with refugees and family class immigrants. This last group has greater need for low-cost affordable child care. -67-In a brief to the Task Force on Child Care, The Chinese Neighbourhood Society of Montreal told the researcher that most mothers in its community are forced to remain at home because fees for child care are too high. (Downie, 1985) This issue of affordability has been extensively studied and examined by researchers and child care advocates. It is found that the dilemma for child care as a business venture or profession is that most parents find difficulties with the cost of child care and cannot afford the fees, but, at the same time, care providers are required to have extensive training both academically and in practice. Meanwhile, care providers found themselves at the bottom of the employment rank in terms of respect, esteem and pay. (Mock, 1986, Pence et al., 1993, and Maynard, 1985) When Chinese parents were asked about the problems and difficulties they faced with child care, six parents answered that they have experienced great anxiety caused by long waiting lists when they needed the services most urgently. One parent explained that: Firstly, availability is a major problem for me, especially for children younger than the age for kindergarten. This situation is very difficult for parents who wish to work but cannot because younger children have no care available. Secondly, inflexible schedules that do not allow parents to work overtime. Thirdly, there is very few programs available for the whole day. In the report of the B.C. Task Force on Immigrant Women, it was found that for immigrant women to fully participate in Canadian society, they must have access to affordable and available quality child care arrangements. A broad spectrum of research found that the availability/accessibility of child care services is a common problem. The causes are many, namely, lack of government funding, private industries' lack of interest due to low profitability and high liability, shortage of qualified personnel -68-and high staff turnover rates. The situation worsens when dealing with cultural minorities' child care needs, because of the shortage in supply of culturally sensitized professional caregivers. 5.2 L A N G U A G E A N D C U L T U R E During the series of key informant interviews, care providers repeatedly brought out the issue of Chinese parents' quandary about finding a fine balance for the cultural and language retention on the one side and, on the other, the expectation for their children to be Canadianized as soon as possible in order to quickly integrate them into the "mainstream society." Therefore, it is crucial to examine these parents' concern on the subject. 5.2.1 Language Development A Chinese day care centre teacher, a key informant, described one of her experiences at the centre: "A Chinese working parent from China who speaks English, made a special request, to the supervisor, not to put her child in the class with this Chinese teacher and the group of Chinese children she cared for, because the Chinese mother did not want her child to speak Chinese at the centre." In Yung's master thesis on mother's perception of developmental goals, a Taiwanese mother expressed that she teaches her child at home her mother tongue, but at the preschool she wants her child to have Canadian playmates. (Yung, 1992) -69 -One caregiver interviewed, who worked at a local day care centre, described how a mother was worried about her younger child being in the same situation as her older child who is losing his home language ability, which is at a very elementary level. Meanwhile, her own English is elementary. Her children's home language is becoming English and she finds greater difficulty understanding her children - their communication gap is gradually widening. When parents were asked about whether their children's ESL ability is a major detennining factor for choosing child care, 48% said no and 32% said yes. Some of their comments are presented below. • No, English is not the major factor, caregiver's personality is more important. [Note: this family speaks both English and Cantonese at home] • No, my priority is still to look for Chinese caregiver. • No, my ideal nanny should speak both Chinese and English. • No, because children have great adaptations, sooner or later, they will learn English and be quickly integrated into the mainstream of Canadian society. • Not really, but we are very worried about children losing their home language. • There is no alternative at all, because all care facilities are provided in English anyway. However, the problem is not major. • It is easier to communicate with my children in Chinese, but of course, I also wish for children to learn English. • I hope to find Chinese caregivers who can teach my children Chinese culture. • Yes, because my children communicate in English at home. • Yes, my own English is very poor, so, it is important that the caregivers can speak both the home language and English. • Yes, prefer nanny speaks good English to help with my children's English. • Yes, it helps children to be gradually integrated into the society. -70-• Yes, hoping to find caregivers that have no communication and language problems with my children. • English ability is not the determining factor, as with time children will be able to communicate with caregivers. The most important factor is the care providers' capability and how loving is the person. The responses indicated that many parents are not very concerned about language as a determining factor for their children and they do not think it would affect their child care choices because children adapt quickly, even though they may have limited English to start with. This finding contradicts other findings presented in the literature. However, as explained previously, most parents interviewed were business and independent immigrants. They do, in general, possess better English. This is confirmed by SUCCESS'S (1991) report that for immigration purposes, one of the major criteria for independent immigrants is the ability to speak English in order to score higher points to qualify. Business immigrants generally came from Hong Kong and Taiwan, where international trading is their main sphere of business. Consequently, it is essential for them to communicate with their clients in a major international language such as English. 5.2.2 Cultural Development Karen Mock, in her report, quoted from the Association for New Canadians, St. John's, Newfoundland, as follows: The biggest problem most immigrant women face is the expectation that they will have to turn their children over to someone who knows nothing about their culture. (Mock 1986, 21) A preschool teacher, a key informant interviewed, explained that what is happening today with the Chinese and other Asian immigrants is the same as fifty years ago when her grandparents immigrated to Canada from Germany with the influx of non-English speaking European immigrants. They also -71 -had language problems and the dilemma of wanting to preserve their own language and culture. In her opinion, history just repeats itself and, with time, people will adjust and integrate. Although her grandmother never spoke English, there is, however, a subtle difference as to the inference of language and culture in that the Asian language and culture are a world apart from those of Europe as a whole. In this study, parents were asked whether they prefer their children to be in a facility where there are (A) only Chinese care providers and Chinese playmates, or (B) English-speaking care providers and Canadian children as playmates and why. Forty-one percent of the parents preferred a mixed environment (A+B), 23% preferred (B) English-speaking care providers and Canadian children as playmates, and 11% chose (A) Chinese. Following are some of the comments from these parents. • (A) When it is customary for children to use English in their daily communications, it is likely they will lose their own mother tongue and culture. Therefore, I prefer (A), so that they will not lose their own heritage. • (A) It would be nice, if the caregiver is Chinese but possesses Canadian experience. • (B) I like my children to be cultivated in Chinese culture if they choose to do so. But, as Canadians they must excel in Canadian heritage before anything else. • (B) I do not support multicultural policy, because children need to acquire English language ability at early age to allow them the access to communicate with their peers and teachers. However, I do encourage my children to maintain Chinese language by practicing at home or attending Chinese language schools. • Both are needed. It is important to have caregivers/teachers from different ethnic backgrounds, so different ethnic parents can take their children to these day cares. The ideal locations of these day cares would be next to or neighbouring an elementary school, so that parents can drop off and pick up their children at close proximities. Same race caregivers has the advantage of giving the children opportunities to express themselves and communicate easier with their caregivers and allows parents to understand more about the problems their children are facing at the centres. I felt English speaking caregivers are more rigid in their schedules and less flexible for those -72-parents who unfortunately often are required to work overtime or are delayed in the office. Parents need this type of service. • Both are needed. It is ideal for children to grow up in a bilingual environment and absorb the strength of both cultures. • Both are needed. It is important to understand Chinese language and culture. But in order to integrate to the Canadian mainstream society, it is necessary for the children to learn about English and the Canadian culture. • It depends. Canada is a multicultural society, children should not be restricted to a single culture. I felt it depends on the need of the child, as at different stages they will have different requirements and this will be the determining factor for choosing the most appropriate cultural background of the caregiver for the child. It is essential, while analyzing cultural factors, to discuss the issues of dissimilar values and beliefs within the Chinese community. Although they are all Chinese, their languages vary and their cultures vary with their languages and their environments. The diversity of Chinese dialects often hinders communication among Chinese people. Constantly, Chinese from different regions will have to communicate in a third language. The reality is that Chinese people from Hong Kong would speak Cantonese or other dialects from the province of Canton, which is not understood by Chinese people from other regions. Hence, this creates another communication problem within their own community. However, most Chinese from China, Taiwan and Singapore can communicate in Mandarin. One parent, a recent immigrant from Taiwan, felt sad about the fact that her child has very low self-esteem and is despondent when he comes home from kindergarten. His problem is that he speaks Mandarin only and not Cantonese, nor English. His mother explains that "Currently, all of the Chinese children in his kindergarten are from Hong Kong and they form their own little inner circles. So, he is totally left out by both the Cantonese-speaking and the English-speaking groups." She felt that her child is suffering from the anxiety of alienation by his peers. -73 -1 Were choices readily available, most ethnocultural groups would prefer culturally and racially integrated centre-based care, with at least one staff person who was from the same racial and/or ethnic backgrounds as their children and who would speak their language in order to interpret the system to them and their culture to the other staff and children. (Mock 1986, ii) In this study, most parents do prefer a mixed cultural setting as they are fully aware that in British Columbia, Canada, English is the first official language. Many new immigrants' main priority is to have their children speak fluent English in order to compensate for the parents' inadequacy in the language. They would therefore prefer a child care facility that is predominately English-speaking to facilitate their children's process of integration into Canadian mainstream society. The study of Tiedt & Tiedt (1979) found that some minority parents do not support bilingual education because they want their children to be assimilated as quickly as possible. (Mock, 1986) Consequently, these parents worry about their children's eventual loss of their own Chinese heritage. This appears to be a constant struggle for many Chinese parents. Alternatively, a facility which has Chinese caregivers with whom the children can feel more comfortable and communicate better with is the ideal place. In addition, a caregiver from the same cultural background would allow children to identify more readily and develop a greater sense of self-esteem. 5.3 L E A R N I N G M E T H O D In Richmond, there exists two pedagogical approaches that have been imposed on Chinese immigrant children. One is the play-based approach advocated by the caregivers; the other is the structured-learning approach favoured by parents. As discussed in the previous chapters, each of these opposing strategies is based on fundamental philosophical/cultural differences and parental expectations. -74-During the interviews, the researcher sensed frustrations from both groups. Chinese parents want more structured, disciplined academic learning. They are frustrated with the liberal, play-based learning techniques. Most of these parents find that children aged 3-5 do need guidance, discipline and should be taught conformity to some sort of a norm that will lead to, as they believe, later cognitive development. Parents also feel that, by the age of six, children have developed learning styles, language patterns, attitudes and values that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Some educators also stress the importance of "early experience and environment on later cognitive, social and emotional development."11 The following are some comments from these parents. • Canada is an advanced country, but I feel in the areas of early childhood education there is insufficient substance being taught and that children are not learning enough. I am worried that my children will not be able to compete with children who grew up in other regions of the world. • I am tutoring my children English (grammar) and math in Chinese, because Chinese and English are equally important. • My children don't learn much at school, therefore, I will have to teach them more myself. • I am worried about my children not being able to compete with other children. For instance, their cousins in Taiwan have already learned counting, numbering and English alphabets. One local Canadian child care advocate and community leader in child care issues, who is also a preschool teacher and an educator teaching Early Childhood Education at a local community college, commented that "A child develops a conscience step by step. They learn by action, not by mere words. Caregivers should teach by having rules and these rules will eventually be adopted by the children as they grow up. The children may re-evaluate these rules at different stages of their lives." This teacher has been teaching for over twenty years and she explained that the reason why only 15% -75-of the students in her preschool are Chinese is that: "Play-based programs are not welcomed by Chinese parents." A preschool teacher finds conflict between the Canadian and Chinese philosophies on pedagogy. She explained to the researcher that Canadian early childhood education philosophy promotes play-based learning, which is an overall learning, a wholistic approach, that encourages children to think on their own so that learning can be self-motivated and creative. The Canadian system believes that playing encompasses many kinds of learning. It allows children to develop in their own way by learning about human behaviour, and through interactions with other human beings and life in general. She recognizes Chinese parents' emphasis on structured, academic learning for their children at a very young age and she strongly disagrees with this concept. She further explained that most Canadian parents prefer this type of free-learning environment. Fredelle Maynard had this to say about North American parents and their attitudes toward learning: "When discussed about preschool, a typical, very current problem comes from parents with some basic misconceptions about the role of pre-school child care: We face constant pressure to push kids faster and faster into formal sit-down reading and writing activities." (Maynard 1985, 113) It would appear that, in principle, Canadian and Chinese parents have the same expectations. It was analyzed in previous chapters that 24% of the parents preferred a learning style similar to the Montessori system. These Chinese parents believe that the Montessori system is a good compromise between Canadian and Chinese pedagogies. Of those parents (from either Hong Kong or Taiwan) who preferred play-based leaning, many expressed their discontent with the educational system with -76-which they grew up. Some even went further to name it the "Duck Stuffing" method, similar to the process of stuffing a turkey, where the learning induces dead knowledge that lacks full understanding and creativity, thereby losing true learning. Child care professionals in Taiwan did a special study of children under the Montessori learning system. A sociology professor at the University of Fu Ren (a Catholic University in Taiwan) commented on this type of learning, saying that many parents and care providers have a misconception in thinking that liberal democratic teaching methods like Montessori allow children greater "Freedom"; to these parents, this so-called freedom is considered equivalent to "Respect."12 In actual fact, we should give children reasonable day-to-day rules to live by, and these rules should be explained clearly beforehand so that children understand what is expected of them and behave accordingly. She also commented on academic learning where she thinks that parents nowadays are particularly concerned about their children's academic performance in a world of fierce competition, resulting in situations where parents are feeling increasingly fearful that their children will not be able to compete with others. In many of the studies done by her university, it was found that most parents are only aware of whether the school is teaching anything concrete in academic learning, but not of the methods used to promote free-spirited and self-motivated learning styles that nurture a child's own abilities in problem solving and creativity. Open education makes these parents worry about the possible inability of their children to be successful in elementary school once they are enrolled in play-based learning. She believes that in Taiwan's education system, where concentrated efforts are given to structured, knowledge-based learning, children from an open, play-based learning environment would not survive -77-well because their creativity would soon be replaced by the structured learning method in formal schooling. (Yu, 1994) This scenario also exists in Hong Kong and China. One mother from Hong Kong very proudly explained that her five-year-old daughter had out-performed over one hundred children at the entrance exam for the acceptance to one of the most prestigious kindergartens in Hong Kong, before their immigration to Canada. During the interview, the mother asked her daughter to demonstrate her Chinese ability by writing her Chinese name in full (a beautiful name with many strokes)and she also asked her daughter to converse in English with the researcher. Most of all, the mother felt relieved that her daughter had learned to read and write basic English in kindergarten and she would have no problem integrating into the formal school system here. 5.4 P A R E N T A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V O L V E M E N T One day care teacher identified the problems of interaction between Chinese parents and caregivers as follows: 1) Pressure from the lack of time — Often parents come to pick up their children in a hurry and leave no time to discuss their children's activities. 2) Language difficulty — The interactions depend very much on parents' language abilities. Although some local community services groups (e.g., S U C C E S S . ) do provide translation services, nonetheless, the subtlety gets lost in the translation due to the translator's unfamiliarity with the subject, which often creates misunderstandings. 3) Cultural Expectations — The language barrier frequently causes misunderstandings in cultural expectations. It is important to recognize that expectations of the children should be reasonable. -78-Another preschool teacher felt it necessary that parents or relatives of the children try to speak in English outside of their home. In one instance, a grandfather always greets his grandson in English when he picks him up after school. In her opinion, this is the reason why that particular child speaks better English than the other Chinese children in the class. She noticed that Chinese parents are over-protective of their children. They do not like to have their children play outside if the weather is cold or warm. She found it most frustrating when outdoor activities were taking place in the wintertime: most Chinese children will bundle themselves up because their mommies do not allow them to go out without their overcoat and boots. She wondered how these children could play in such heavy clothing. In addition, Chinese parents particularly don't like their children to get dirty, which she finds too unrealistic and restrictive to children's activities. One of the open-ended questions asked if the parents were actively involved with their children's care and education. An overwhelming response rate of 70 parents out of 75 said "Yes." Only one parent said "No", because she has no time. Some parents' comments are presented below. • It is important for parents to get involved in their children's care and education because children's education is a concerted effort from both the parents and the caregivers/teachers. Healthy communication channels are beneficial and effective to foster children's development. • Parents will have to get actively involved in their children's education and teach them more, because children don't learn much at school. • Yes, because I feel children need complete love, support and attention from their parents, prior to them attending school, in order to build healthy minds and souls. Mothers are the best pre-school teachers, because they understand their own children better than anybody else does. -79-• It is important to determine whether the kind of education is appropriate for my children, because parents must know what the education is doing "to" and "for" their children. One mother felt so positive about getting involved that she said: "the advantage of parents getting involved is two-fold: one is that increasing communication with her children's caregiver will decrease generation gaps, also help parents to provide education that complements the child's level of competence and strengths at school; two is that it is rewarding to see one's own child grow." Responses to this particular question indicate that parents seem to think that their involvement in their children's care and education stops at the time their children go to the centre or to school and parents should only get involved with after-school or off-school cares. Therefore, in answering the questions many parents tend to answer on home tutoring or after-school paid tutoring on academic learning for their children. When further asked about communicating with their children's care providers, many said that no they hadn't done so. This exhibits a lack of understanding from the parents' perspective in terms of the need for parents to interact with caregivers and the centres or preschools. This lack of communication may be traced back to the profound influence from their native countries. Most parents do not find it appropriate to interfere with the teacher's authority and the school's rules. According to Yung in his research on mothers' perceptions, a mother from Hong Kong explained that "the teacher has more authority and is more knowledgable." She felt it was "the parents' role to reinforce what the child had learned from daycare." (Yung 1992, 35) -80-In "Chinese's Philosophy in Nurturing," a chapter is entitled "It's Okay To Punish My Kids Physically, But Please Not Too Hard!" The Chinese researchers studied Chinese parents' views on physical punishment and found that most parents disagree with irrational physical punishment from the teachers, while silently accepting physical punishment for poor academic performance and bad behaviour (Yu, 1994). Evidently, most parents do not wish to interfere or challenge educators' authority through respect for teachers and perhaps fear to create a conflict with them. Contrarily, most western researchers and educators have come to the conclusion that the co-operation of both parents and practitioners may contribute to better child development. For instance, "In a reciprocal relationship both partners (parents and educators) share the responsibility and are mutually accountable." (Maynard 1985, 135) Many Chinese immigrant parents, and similarly, other ethnic parents, may be very willing to get involved with their children's development. There are, however, many obstacles that prevent them from doing so, such as the inability to communicate due to language barriers, cultural differences and unfarniliarity with the system. It is, therefore, extremely important that community involvement be part of the process in early childhood education development. British child psychologist Penelope Leach, not a child care advocate, stressed that "if a child must be mindedhe should remain part of his own community, able to benefit from whatever it can offer."13 This also has a beneficial effect for most mothers who know that their children are closer to home, their friends and their older siblings. -81 -In interviewing different community organizations and Chinese group associations, the researcher found that many of them offer interpretation and translation services to parents and will even accompany them to schools. SUCCESS is one of the largest groups offering the most complete programs, including ESL training for parents and translation services. Richmond Connection's Child Support program has a permanent Chinese officer who will assist in locating quality child care services for Chinese and other minority immigrant parents who need it. They will survey and do site visits, if required, to ensure quality of care. Much of the information on child care has been translated from English to Chinese and referrals are also available by these groups. At the present, in Richmond, many documents pertaining to child care have already been translated by some non-profit organizations (e.g., S U C C E S S ) , Richmond Connections Child Care Support Program and many immigrant associations. During the interviews, many community workers described some of the difficulties new immigrant parents are facing. For instance, child care services are desperately needed for relieving new immigrant parents, thus giving them the opportunity to attend ESL classes. Often, parents are restricted by various child care rules and regulations that prevent them from participating in ESL classes. One parent explained her reason for missing the opportunity to attend ESL classes offered by A-Link (a government-run ESL program). When she first arrived in Canada, she was signed up for the program. On-site child care services are provided for those immigrants who are attending the classes. However, in her situation, she had to give up the free government-subsidized ESL program because her son was a few months over the strictly imposed maximum age limit of five. -82-This mother's case is not an isolated situation. Obviously, community services are needed to assist and help resolve many of the day-to-day child care problems facing these new immigrants. Aside from their language problems, another major obstacle is the "sources of information," namely, the questions of "how to" and "where to" find the necessary information. One mother explained: "When we first arrived, we didn't know anybody and our English is not very good. We had great difficulty in finding information for child care. The worst is we didn't know what to ask, how to ask and where to ask for help. It was very difficult for us." This section examines attitudes on the part of Chinese immigrants regarding the nature of parental involvement in the care of children. Respondents felt that it is the role of parents to supervise the moral and intellectual development of their offsprings; however, this role is thought to be limited exclusively to the home. It is considered the responsibility of the state to perform this function in the school environment. It is hardly surprising, then, that Chinese parents are reluctant to participate in community based education programs. This reluctance is further reinforced by the language barrier and unfamiliarity with the education system. Community based groups like SUCCESS, Richmond Connections and immigrant services offer translation and interpretation services aimed at breaking down these barriers. -83 -5.5 Q U A L I T Y O F C H I L D C A R E Most of the Chinese parents surveyed have little opinion on what quality child care should be. Many parents, when asked this question, showed no enthusiasm in responding. A few possible reasons could explain this reaction: (1) the designed question had already identified pertinent factors, (2) this question being at the end of the interview, the interviewees' attention span may have been low; (3) child care is regarded as a necessity. In the interview, most of the parents (76%) answered "yes" to the question "Do you consider factors like: low teacher/children ratio; healthy and safe environment; and warm and caring care providers for quality child care? If more, what else and why?" Some comments are listed below: • At the moment, my son is in preschool. I felt there is only fun and play every day and no learning at all from the school. I hope the schools here can start children at younger age and give the children an opportunity to learn more knowledge. • Yes, and the early childhood education here is very good, parents should get more involved in co-operating with teachers. • Yes, also the Canadian educational system is too linear, children at these ages are too young to know their bounds. There should be some sort of parameters or guidelines as to the limits. The overly free spirit and uncontrollable behaviours are not to children's benefit. • Hope to return to the traditional school system, where children wear uniform. • Hope to have more bilingual day care centres [bilingual refers to home language and English]. • Yes, important to let children feel happy, there is no need of too much pressure. • Yes, but these qualities will have to be affordable, otherwise, it will be exclusively for those rich and well-to-doers. -84-• Not really, parents are worried that too much soft touch on children will only spoil them and in Canada, children's learning ability has decreased a lot from before. • Yes, and the kindergarten's hours of operation is too short, recommend them to extend school hours from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. • Yes, also it is crucial that caregivers are energetic, loving and patient. It would be perfect if they are also knowledgable. • Yes, but the education system here is emphasized on creativity and this makes children too free. • Yes, however, I felt that the public kindergarten's formal education quality is inferior than that of the Montessori's as their teaching method is recommendable. • Yes, but hopes that there will be more structured and formal learning on Math and basic English. • Cannot accept teacher's striking attitudes. • Yes, but disagree with different aged children mixed together in one learning level. • Yes, and they also need: a) well-organized system, b) qualified teaching staff— child psychologist and staff aid, c) bright and pleasant premises, and d) discipline. In this section, parents were surveyed with a view to determining their perspectives regarding what attributes constitute quality child care. Results suggests a strong linkage between the latter and education. Moral development and discipline were also deemed relevant. To conclude, Chinese immigrant parents' concerns on child care is in some areas similar to those found in western cultures, for example, the affordability and accessibility of child care services. However, with regard to the goals, curriculum and pedagogic approach appropriate to preschool education, widely divergent views prevail. In the meantime, immigrant preschool children are caught in the vortex of these opposing currents. -85-CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 6.1 CONCLUSIONS In this study, the quantitative findings of the interviews clearly illustrated a demographic profile of 75 Chinese immigrant parents in Richmond. The largest groups interviewed were of independent and business classes of immigrants, mainly from Hong Kong, who have been living in Canada between three to ten years. Seventy-five percent of the families were married parents living with their children in Richmond. One unusual phenomenon is the 18% astronaut families whose children live with their mothers in Richmond while their fathers are working and living abroad over extended periods. Sixty-three percent of the families had just one child. Their socio-economic status seems to be fall within two main categories. Nearly a quarter of the families were double-income families with both parents working. However, the majority were sole wage earner families with only fathers working. Approximately 40% of these families lived in middle- to upper-income neighbourhoods and over 30% lived in lower-middle to middle-income areas. The results of this study show that these Chinese parents have the same needs and expectations for quality early childhood programs as their Canadian counterparts. When considering the quality of child care, it is important to acknowledge that low staff-children ratio, warm and caring staff, and a clean, safe and happy learning environment without added pressure are all positive factors contributing to good quality child care. However, there are other important factors, as identified by these Chinese parents and some educators. Those are children's moral -86-development, intellectual development, and most of all, language development for ethnocultural children. Richmond's Planning Department, in 1986, prepared a report on "Licensed Child Care Services and Facilities in Richmond." In the section entitled "Multi-cultural Concerns: The Need for ESL Nurseries," they predicted future trends for ESL training for preschoolers. In their survey on Chinese immigrant women's needs, S U C C E S S , have recommended that: Low-cost, affordable as well as reliable child care facilities run by the Government or charitable organizations are needed to improve the existing situation. Cultural sensitization and cross-cultural training should also be provided to those child care workers who operate day care facilities. (SUCCESS 1991, 19) Richmond's Health Department did a study with the assistance of a public health aid/interpreter of the Indo-Canadian group. The report recognized the need for convenient and low-cost nursery schools for Indo-Canadian children, as these children need the socialization provided at the nursery. It was found that the Indo-Canadian group do not use child care services in Richmond. Their reasons include the costs associated with the care, transportation, the lack of information available about child care services and parents' inability to inquire about the services due to language barriers. This study finds that Chinese-Canadian parents are exposed to similar problems as the Indo-Canadian families. However, they differ in the needs for the type of child care services. In general, Chinese parents require the services of low-cost, culturally sensitized ESL preschools that provide longer school hours and offer structured ESL learning for their young children. The conflict of pedagogy on early childhood education between child care practitioners and Chinese parents is apparent. Based on the findings, almost all of the children of the 75 families interviewed are deficient in reading and -87-writing basic English. Some may argue about the issue of age, however, low self-esteem and difficulties in academic performance can be a contingent upon an inability to read and write on an equal footing with their Enghsh-speaking counterparts. Achieving this degree of language skill goes beyond ideological considerations because it directly affects these children's academic performance as well as their psychological well-being - a well-being dependent upon their ability to communicate effectively. "LANGUAGE IS POWER" The reality of our educational system, explained by Theodore Sizer of Harvard University, is that "Society's principal sorting system, formal education, rewards one kind of intellectual ability almost exclusively - language. Other abilities rarely count." He further noted that "a home where a mother helps a child to learn and use rich and varied language advances him materially towards more sophisticated skills of communication and reading."14 However, in this case, these Chinese children's parents are having difficulties coping with their daily lives due to limited ESL abilities. How can they enrich their children's? It is, therefore, pivotal that these children be prepared with adequate preschool ESL training that will enable them to meet the basic academic requirements prior to their enrollment in the formal school system. - 8 8 -6.2 PLANNING IMPLICATIONS The concerns identified in this study relating to affordability, availability, differences in pedagogic philosophy and language problems will certainly affect the well-being of the society as a whole. Therefore, it is fundamental to address these problems at an early stage with appropriate measures. One of the chief priorities for solving these problems is to develop clear and coordinated policies capable of implementation. Nevertheless, child care policies are as contentious and complex as then-diverse value-laden nature: practically everyone has an opinion of how children should be raised. These policies cross the boundaries of complex political, philosophical/ideological and developmental arenas. Solutions cannot be achieved by initiatives undertaken by a single level of government or particular agency, especially given the current financial constraints facing all levels of government. Thus, it is essential to have in place an effective planning and coordination process capable of ensuring that reasonable and workable policies are designed and implemented. To realize this goal, the cooperation on the part of all levels of governments is required in the areas of policy development and implementation. Table 6.1 illustrates the responsibilities and jurisdictions of ministries involved in child care related issues. Child care policies and their implementation are key factors in the success of any child care system and, consequently, impact the lives of parents and children. In order to be constructive, the Inter-Ministry Child Care Policy Coordination Committee should be empowered to actively plan, -89-coordinate and implement policies. This means encouraging cooperation among competing agencies, particularly in the area of setting common goals and priorities. This partnership style of policy development represents a long term solution for what is emerging as a child care crisis. One major part of the planning process involves the gathering and sharing of information relevant to issues and concerns relating to the immigrant children, their families and the standards of the quality of child care. Another major part of the planning process is to mediate and facilitate decision making faced by disparate jurisdictions and authorities. In this study, the child care issues and concerns of Chinese immigrant families were identified and strategies for their resolution recommended. Also identified were a number of initiatives and programs currently operative. For example, The Ministry of Women's Equality has provided funding for local governments to conduct child care needs assessment studies. This essential first step towards policy development presented local governments with the opportunity to understand and assess the trends and needs of their own communities and to step back from existing ad hoc delivery systems. The Ministry has also implemented its Child Care Wage Supplement Initiative with a view to supplementing the low wages received by child care workers in licensed group child care centres. In addition, Kwantlan College's Early Childhood Education/English as an Additional Language (ECE/EAL) program offers immigrants lacking oral and written English proficiency training as E C E teachers. This program, funded under the Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour's Skills Now initiative, has not only benefited immigrant women by providing job skills, but has also provided communities with culturally sensitive caregivers. These programs represent partial solutions only, and additional policies and programs will have to be developed to enhance them. -90-T A B L E 6.1 Inter-Ministry Child Care Policy Coordination Committee MINISTRY JURISDICTIONS WOMEN'S EQUALITY POLICY DEVELOPMENT & IMPLEMENTATION Mandated by Legislation •Community Planning & Resource Development •Programs to enhance Quality (including enhanced Day Care Support Program, and quality Enhancement Program) •Stabilization Programs (including Infant/Toddler Incentive Grants, Financial Management Administration Support Program) •Child Care Expansion Program (including Day Care Grants) POLICY MONITORING & EVALUATION • Maintenance of data base •Statistical analysis & research •Program Evaluation Communication Planning & Implementation •Public Information Initiatives HEALTH • Regulating •Early Childhood Educator Registration MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS, RECREATION & HOUSING •Municipal by-laws EDUCATION, MULTICULTURALISM & HUMAN RIGHTS •Immigrant and School-based Child Care SOCIAL SERVICES •Subsidy •Special Needs Day Care FINANCE •Taxation ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SMALL BUSINESS & TRADE •Child Care as a Small Business ADVANCED EDUCATION, TRAINING & TECHNOLOGY •Training ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS •Aboriginal Child Care Development BRITISH COLUMBIA BUILDINGS COPORATION •Child Care in Provincial Buildings Source: Ministry of Women's Equality, Child care Branch, 1993 -91 -Below is suggested a number of initiatives and prescriptions for transforming multi-government policy in the area of immigrant child care. 1) Federal government Given its jurisdiction over immigration policy, the federal government should, prior to their landing, provide immigrants with pertinent information on the Canadian child care system; provide funding and support provincial initiatives that offer training programs for multicultural early childhood education teachers; and provide funding for child care research and studies. 2) Provincial government At a time when the Federal government is downloading many of its responsibilities on to lower level governments, it is essential for the provincial government to assume a leadership role in the area of child care advocacy, particularly as regards securing federal government funding for child care related support programs. This study recommends the design and implementation of preschool ESL programs capable of addressing the child care needs and concerns of Chinese immigrant families. The delivery of these programs is contingent upon provincial government policy. For instance, the Ministry of Economic Development, Small Business & Trade could promote child care as a small business by providing programs similar to that of the federal government's Self-employment Assistance Program. This would involve offering those immigrants who meet certain criteria and who have received an E C E / E A L certificate entrepreneurial training and loans to start their own child care businesses. -92-Other policies should facilitate the development of culturally sensitive E C E curriculums for use in teacher training programs; mandate the introduction of ECE/ESL curriculums for non-English speaking preschool children; and promote community-based delivery systems by providing opportunities and training for ethno-communities. The Inter-Ministry Child Care Policy Coordination Committee should be empowered to plan, coordinate and implement policies that will ensure full integration of immigrant children into Canadian society. 3) Municipal governments Municipal governments are the governments closest to people; consequently, most of these governments are faced with challenges exacerbated by limited financial resources, special interest group advocacy, multi-government policy duplication and shortage of professional staff. In many Lower Mainland municipalities, the problem is further compounded by a rapidly increasing ethnic diversity. Local governments are presented with three child care challenges: the first is the provision of adequate preschool facilities; second is the development of policies based on up-to-date and accurate information about their communities; the third relates to the coordination and cooperation of local government agencies, school districts and communities. Local governments should seek from senior governments funding for the creation and maintenance of data base whose principal purpose would be to ensure quality and avoid ad hoc delivery systems. In Richmond, a number of highly organized citizens advocacy group were formed with the Richmond Child Care Advisory Committee among the more active. The Richmond Child Care Development -93 -Board is a City Council appointed group with some of its core members drawn from the Richmond Child Care Advisory Committee. Both groups are actively involved in child care issues. Its staff members include a Social Planner from the Planning Department who is responsible for the City's child care policies and also a City Child Care Development Coordinator from the Department of Community Services who is responsible for overseeing the construction and development of a child care facility located at Terra Nova and for coordinating the Richmond Child Care Needs Assessment Report. It is commendable that the City has negotiated with residential housing developers to provide four child care facilities as part of the projects and that it has established a non-profit organization to operate one of the facilities - the Terra Nova Group Day Care Centre. The city is not only innovative in dealing with child care issues, but also politically sensitive in involving its citizens in the process. 6.3 F U T U R E R E S E A R C H DIRECTION Future studies may be directed to the topic of parents' involvement in the care and education of their children. Results of the open-ended questions show that 93% of these parents are actively involved. However, their concept of active involvement is basically supervising their children's education and taking care of moral development themselves in the home environment. As to actively getting involved in their children's day-to-day activity outside of their homes (i.e., at day care centres, preschool, and kindergartens), they have not given much consideration. Language difficulty may be a major factor in their reluctance to communicate or to get involved with activities outside of their homes. -94-In this study, 31% of the parents never intended to have surrogate care for their children; it was their intention all along to care for their own children. This group of Chinese parents, mostly mothers, would rather stay home and be with their children. Could this factor be influenced by one of the old Chinese traditions that women manage their homes the best and therefore, home is where women should be? Could it also be influenced by their language problems, in that they are aware of their inability or great difficulty to obtain employment and, therefore, it is assumed that they would stay home and care for their children? One other issue that should be the subject of future studies is the question of integration and its application for immigrant children. This study found that, when the parents were given the choice of A) only Chinese care providers and playmates or B) only English- speaking care providers and Canadian children as playmates, about 23% of the parents chose B) and 41% wanted a facility that mixes both A) and B). One parent explained that "Canada is a multicultural society and a melting pot of race. Hence, people should be open to each other by accepting each other." However, one key informant, a preschool teacher, produced a waiting list with 12 children's names and 11 of them are Chinese. She clearly explained that she would only allow 20% (about two out of a total of ten children) of her classes to be ESL children due to the fact that, beyond this limit, caregivers at the preschool find extreme difficulty in managing and coping with communication problems and cultural differences. Future studies should also be directed at children's cognitive development, confirming the relationship that exists between children's cultural identities and their development. An in-depth survey of ethno-cultural preschool children's needs is very much needed. These children are subjected to major -95-changes in their larger physical environment, life patterns (i.e., losing the extended family and friends) and radical language changes. Finally, future studies is needed for children with different needs and how to meet their needs, for instance, children with special needs, latchkey kids, absentee parent kids, children with disabilities and economically disadvantaged children. In closing, it behooves us to recognize the consequences to inadequate child care and to exercise responsibility with respect to our children's future. That future is in our hands. As Franklin D. Roosevelt once remarked: We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. -96-NOTES 1 Statistics Canada, Census, 1981 and 1991. 2 Hot Facts, Diversity in Richmond, Vol. 2, No.6 Richmond: Planning Department. 3Hot Facts, Diversity in Richmond, Vol. City of Richmond, Planning Department, March 9, 1992. 4 Mock, K. (1984). Status Report on Multicultural Education in Early Childhood Education. Ottawa: Multiculturalism Directorate, Department of the Secretary of State. 5 Kornei Chukovsky, tran. Miriam Morton, From Two to Five, (Berkley: University of California press, 1965), quoted in Fredelle Mayanrd. the Child Care Crisis. 6 Schaeffer, R. (1977), Mothering, Cambridge:Harvard University Press, p. 68. 7 Quoted in Fredelle Maynard's The Child Care Crisis, p. 18. 8 Provence, S. et al. (1977), The Challenge of Daycare. New Haven: Yale University Press, p.65. 9 Gyda Chud," Wroking with ESL Preschoolers: Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child," Teal 5 Ocassional Papers, 1983, Vol. 7, 61-68, quoted in Karen Mock, Status Report on Multicultural Education in Early Childhood Education (Ottawa: Department of Multiculturalism Secretary of State, 1984) 1 0 Sheila B. Kamerman (1980). Parenting in an Unresponsive Society, New York. Free Press, pp. 3-53. Some Canadian Studies - a Saskatchewan survey in 1980and one in Metro Toronto in 1973 - reported more than 50% of parents as dissatisfied with day care arrangements. 1 1 Mock, K. (1982). Early Childhood Education in a Multicultural Society, article from Multiculturalism. Vol. V, No.4 1 2 The traditional Chinese educational system forbids students to show any sort of wishes and self-esteem. Therefore, many of them associate freedom with respect. 1 3 Leach, P.(1979). Who Cares Harmondsworth: Penguin Publishing.quoted in Fredelle Maynrd, The Child Care Crisis. 1985. Markham: Penguin Books Canada Limited, p.65 1 4 Sizer, Theodore, (1973). Places for learning. Places for Joy, quoted in Fredelle Maynard, The Child Care Crisis (Markham: Penguin Books Canada, Ltd., 1985), p. 154. -97-REFERENCES Associated Press. Study finds Poor Child care. 5 February 1995. Washington, U.S.A. Associated Press. Study Rips Child-Care Centres. 6 February 1995. Washington, U.S.A. Bailey, K.D. (1982). Methods of Social Research. 2nd edition. New York: The Free Press. Bissoondath, N. (1994). Selling Illusions: The Cult of Multiculturalism in Canada.Toronto: The Penguin Group. Boyden J. & Holden P. (1991).Children Of The Cities. London: Zed Books Ltd. Canada, Statistics & Health & Welfare (1992). Canadian Child Care in Context: Perspectives From the Provinces and Territories. (Canadian National Child Care Study, Volume 1). Allan Pence (ed.) Canada, Status of Women, (1986). Report of the Task Force on Child Care. Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada. Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (1987). Multicultural Education Paris: O.E.C.D. Child Study Centre, UBC, Chinatown & Betty — Chinese A's and Meeting of Parents in Basement of Sexsmith ESL Demonstration Preschool (A Multicultural Project) Produced by Glen Dixson, 1988, videocassette. Child Study Centre, UBC, Principal and Teachers Meeting — Franklin. (A Multicultural Project) Produced by Glen Dixson, 1988, videocassette. Child Study Centre, UBC, Parent and Teacher Meeting — Brittania Preschool. (A Multicultural Project) Produced by Glen Dixson, 1988, videocassette. Child Study Centre, UBC. Sexsmith ESL Demonstration Preschool 1. Produced by Glen Dixson, 10 Min., Funding provided by Ministry of social Services, 1985, videocassette. Child Study Centre, UBC, Sexsmith ESL Demonstration Preschool 2. Produced by Glen Dixson, 10 Min., Funding provided by Ministry of social Services, 1985, videocassette. Child Study Centre, UBC, Sexsmith ESL Demonstration Preschool. (A Multicultural Project), Produced by Glen Dixson, 1987, video cassette. Child Study Centre, UBC and Vancouver School board, The Whole World in Our School. (A Multicultural Project) Produced by Glen Dixson, 15.40 Min., 1988,videocassette. -98-Chud, G., Fahlman, R., Baker, R. and Wakefield, P. (1985). Early Childhood Education for a Multicultural Society. Vanouver: Western Education Development Group & UBC Community Airport New comers Network (1994). Statistical Report, from October. 1993 to March. 1994. Vancouver: S U C C E S S . Downie, P.T.H. (1985). Child Care Needs of Irnrnigrant in Child Care Needs of Parents and Families (Series 5), Paper prepared for the Task Force of Child Care, Ottawa: Canada, Status of Women. Ferguson, R., Pence, A & Denholm, C. (ed.) (1993). Professional Child and Youth Care. Second Edition.Vancouver: UBC Press. Friedmann, J. (1987). Planning In The Public Domain: From Knowledge To Action Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Gunderson, L. (1994). Background paper to a three year study of the English Achievement of Immigrant students. Holt, J. (1974). Escape From Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Company Limited. Kasting, A. (1990). Parent Invovlement: Changing perspectives from 1965 to 1990. Canadian Children. 15. 1-11. Lim, Chia-Hsing (1993). Fon Yang Dei Hay Tze: Shiao Liu Hsiu Sheng Hai Wey Tran Jen (Chinese Overseas Children: Real Stories of Young Chinese Overseas Students). Text in Chinese. Taipei: Chang Lao Shu Publishing Ltd. Maynard, F. (1985). The child Care Crisis — The Real Costs of Dav Care for You — and Your Child. Matkham, Ontario:Penguin Books Canada Ltd. Mackey, W.F. & Andersson, T. (ed.) (1971). Bilingualism In Early Childhood. Rowley: Newbury House Publishers, Inc. Ministry of Education and Ministry Responsible of Multiculturalism and Human Rights (1991). Settlement Services For Immigrant Children: A Need Assessment. Prepared by: Rivers Associates Consultants. Victoria: Ministry of Education and Ministry Responsible for Multiculturalism and Human Rights. Ministry of Health. Parents Guide to Selecting Day Care: Selecting and Monitoring of Licensed Day Care Victoria: Provincial Child care Facilities Licensing Board. Ministry of Woemn's Equality (1994). Consultation on the Wage Supplement Initiative for Employees in the Private Child Care Sector, Back Ground Paper. -99-Ministry of Woemn's Equality (1994). Child Care - Choices At Work, Program Summary. Mock, K.R. (1986). Child Care Needs of Cultural Minorities (Report Prepared for the House of Commons Special Committee on child Care). Toronto: Masemann and Mock. Norusis, M . J. (1991). The SPSS Guide To Data Analysis For Spss/PC+. Second Edition. Chicago: SPSS Inc. Nelson, O. (1992). Lower Mainland Multicultural Education Project. Vancouver: Social Planning and Research Council of B.C. Richmond, City of (1993). Richmond City Centre Social Principles - Discussions and Implementations. Richmond: City. Reuter. Study shows poor quality of child-care centres. 5 February 1995. Washington, U.S.A. Schaeffer, E.S. (1983). Parent-Professional Interaction: Reserach, Parental, Professional and Policy perspective. In R. Haskins, & D. Adams (eds) Paren Education and Public Policy (pp.283-303). Norwood, N.J.: Ablex Pubushing coporation. Shia, Li-Yu (ed.) (1994). Chung Gu Ren Day Yen Yu Guan (Chinese Philosophy on Nurturing the Young). Text in Chinese. Taipei: Chang Lao Shu Publishing Ltd. S U C C E S S . Women's Committee Research Group (1991). Chinese Immigrant Women's Needs Survey in Richmond Vancouver: S U C C E S S . United Nations (1991). Convention on the Rights of the Child Ottawa: The Human Rights Directorate, Department of Multiculturalism and Citizenship. Wilson, D.K. (1988). Child Care Needs and Attitudes Among Employees At Vancouver International Airport: Is there sufficient interest, to get a employer-supported, work-site group child care facilitv."OFF T H E GROUND?" Vanouver: United Way of The Lower Mainland. Yiu, Y . C . (1990). Translations of Dr. Bryan Lask's 1985 book Children's Problems published in London, U.K. by Mcdonald & Co. Ltd. Yu, Dai-Hui (ed.)(1993). Chung Kuo Ren Der Fu Mu Tin (Chinese Philosophy on Parenting). Text in Chinese. Taipei: Chang Lao Shu Publishing Ltd. Yung, Y .C. (1992). Mother's Perception of Early Childhood Education as a Function of Ethnic Background. Unpublished master's thesis. University of British Columbia, Vancouver. - 100-APPENDIX A: INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE IN ENGLISH GUIDED QUESTIONS FOR INTERVIEWS Chinese Immigrant Parents Child Care Survey A) FAMILY DATA 1. Length of stay i n Canada since landed less than 1 year 1 - 3 years 3 - 1 0 years more than 10 years 2. Country of Origin China Hong Kong Taiwan Other: 3. Immigration Status business family r e u n i f i c a t i o n independent refugee non-permanent A. Parental status single parent married, l i v i n g with husband and children married, l i v i n g with children; husband working abroad guardians/relatives of children whose parents not l i v i n g i n Canada 5. Parent's employment Father Mother self-employed employed f u l l - t i m e , hours worked part-time, hours worked Age and Sex of children under the age of seven Child 1 2 3 Age Sex B) LANGUAGE DATA 1. Home Language Cantonese Mandarin English others - 101 -2. Children's p r o f i c i e n c y i n home language Conversation Reading Writing Child 1 Child 2 Child 3 * A:fluent/well, B:adequate, C:minimal, D:None 3. Family members' pro f i c i e n c y i n English as second language Conversation Reading Writing Husband Wife Child 1 Child 2 Child 3 * A:fluent/well, B:adequate, C:minimal, D:None 4. Languages you wish your children to be most fluent i n * English home language b i l i n g u a l (English & home language) * conversational, reading and writing C) CHILD CARE DATA 1. Type of care your children (ages under seven) are presently i n and i t s monthly cost Child 1 2 3 in-home parental care in-home paid nanny in-home extended family group care centre unlicensed family care^ licensed family care preschool kindergarten 2. In the map provided please i d e n t i f y the areas where you l i v e and the location of your children's care f a c i l i t y . If not i n this map, please specify. 3. Frequency of communication with your children's care providers constant occasionally only when necessary none - 102-. Preferred c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y to your children's care providers Chinese or i g i n s (no English, strong Chinese culture) Chinese origins (some English, some Canadian culture) Canadian born Chinese (no Chinese, strong Canadian culture) Canadian born Chinese (some Chinese, mixed cultures) Canadian ori g i n s (English only, strong Canadian culture) no preferences Preferred playmates for your children at care f a c i l i t y a l l Chinese speaking children a l l English speaking children mixed Chinese and English speaking children no preference Preferred learning system structured unstructured learning Play Based, no formal learning at early childhood QUALITATIVE Did you have any pr o b l e m s / d i f f i c u l t i e s i n finding c h i l d care for you child? When choosing c h i l d care for your c h i l d i s his/her English as second language a b i l i t y a major determining factor and Why? Is the e x i s t i n g costs for your child's care too expensive, i f so, what would you consider to be affordable? Is i t more important for your c h i l d to be i n a care f a c i l i t y where there i s only Chinese care providers and playmates or a f a c i l i t y where there i s English speaking care providers and Canadian children as playmates and why? Are you a c t i v e l y involved i n your child's care and education and why? Do you consider factors l i k e : low teacher/children r a t i o ; healthy and safe environment; and warm and caring care providers for quality c h i l d care? If more, what else and why? - 103 -- 104-APPENDIX B: INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE IN CHINESE 1 - 3 4$. 3 -10 1 0 ^ ± . w. 1 2 3 • o n 105 1 2 3 &m&XBvm. mmommm. &m.mmm. mmmmmftm. mmae&sffi. mm.. ^pfiH. mnwife. tgrnwi®. mmmm. ins A - (Rm^MRmiJU^-X&ik) - 106-_—%m%m%mn. ») ragtag: EH. Tf'JrWtBSISS ? fift&BJiJiiS ? 2) w?&mm&m$m, %m&m&&*i& - 107-


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