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Early Years Column

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Hispanics are less likely than other groups to use day-care centers or preschools, a new study shows.

A study by researchers at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education suggests that more "cohesive'' family structures, cultural preferences, and language issues lead Latino parents to rely on family and neighborhood providers for child care.

The study, which was to be released late last week, showed that 32 percent of Latino families with a mother employed full time used a formal center, compared with 55 percent of black families and 43 percent of white families.

Bruce Fuller, a professor of education at Harvard and the study's lead author, said the data support a "balanced financing strategy'' that includes increased aid for child-care vouchers.

The study is based on a 1991 federal survey of 5,095 parents of 3- to 5-year-olds and in-depth interviews with 14 women. The respondents were from a variety of ethnic groups.

Copies of "Rich Culture, Poor Markets: Why Do Latino Parents Choose to Forego Preschooling?'' are available for $10 each from Helen Rodriguez, Harvard University, 427 Gutman, Appian Way, Cambridge, Mass. 02138.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children has released a new publication on special-needs children and a new statement on violence. Copies of "A Place for Me: Including Children with Special Needs in Early Care and Education Settings'' are available for $4.50 each, and the "N.A.E.Y.C. Position Statement on Violence in the Lives of Children'' is available for 50 cents per copy, from the N.A.E.Y.C., 1509 16th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Early-childhood workers, parents, and policymakers nationwide have scheduled rallies and other events to mark the third annual "Worthy Wage Day'' on April 21. The event, which highlights the link between low child-care salaries and poor-quality day care, was planned by the National Center for the Early Childhood Workforce, an Oakland, Calif., group, to coincide with the N.A.E.Y.C.'s "Week of the Young Child.''

The University of California at Los Angeles is planning a tour of early-care facilities in England, Scotland, and France from June 19 to July 9. For information, call or write the U.C.L.A. Education Extension, 10995 Le Conte Ave., Suite 639, Los Angeles, Calif. 90024; (310) 825-2960.

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