ST. PAUL (July 7, 2014) — The Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans (CAPM), with the help of Wilder Research, launches a community-wide survey about early childhood education and daycare, targeting Southeast Asian families in Minnesota.
The survey is part of a larger research study, the results of which will be reported to the Minnesota State Legislature to help increase access to and improve quality of early childhood education and childcare. The survey targets children ages 4 and under from the Hmong, Vietnamese, Lao, Cambodian, and Karen communities.
Together, these five communities make up more than half of the Asian Pacific Minnesotan population. They also bear the worst socio-economic conditions compared to other Asian Pacific Minnesotan ethnic groups and the general Minnesotan population.
According the 2010 U.S. Census, Asian Pacific Minnesotans stands at 202,135, and counting. That number will continue to grow exponentially given that Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the United States.
In Minnesota alone, the Karen population has surged to 10,000 in the last five years as more refugees arrive from Burma, making our state home to the largest concentration of Karen outside of Southeast Asia. According to a report published by the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, Cambodian, Hmong, and Vietnamese American children between the ages of 3 and 4 in Minnesota are less likely than whites to be enrolled in preschool.
Half of Minnesota kids are unprepared for kindergarten, too many never catch up and eventually drop out of high school, adding to Minnesota’s disparity, which is one of the widest in the nation.
In his 2014 State of the State address, Governor Dayton declared early childhood education as a top priority for the state of Minnesota, “Let us commit that by 2018, all 3- and 4-year-olds in Minnesota will have access to quality, affordable early childhood education.”
There is a dearth of knowledge on Southeast Asian children’s early learning opportunities in Minnesota. Given the policy focus on early learning, federal and state funding designated to improve kindergarten readiness, and education disparity that has long plagued the Southeast Asian community, CAPM believes that more research is necessary to identify barriers to quality early learning for Southeast Asian children.
The survey is available until the end of August 2014. Eligible participants are adults who are: (1) responsible for their child’s early childhood education and childcare; and (2) Minnesota residents; and (3) responsible for a child age 4 and under; and (4) responsible for a child of one or more of the following ethnicities: Hmong, Vietnamese, Lao, Cambodian, or Karen.
The survey is offered in English and can be taken online at mn.gov/capm.
Eligible participants can also take the survey over the phone in their native language – Hmong, Vietnamese, Karen, Lao, and Khmer – by calling Wilder Research at 651-280-2688. As a token of appreciation, participants get a $10 Target gift card and 20 percent off Minnesota Zoo admissions, as well as entry into a lottery to win culturally appropriate children’s books, MN Zoo tickets, MN Children’s Museum tickets, and MN Children’s Museum memberships.
CAPM is a state agency created by the Minnesota State Legislature to fulfill three main objectives: to advise the Governor’s Office and members of the legislature on issues pertaining to Asian Pacific Minnesotans, to advocate on issues of importance to the Asian Pacific community, and to act as a broker between the Asian Pacific community and mainstream society.
Questions about this study or survey can be directed to Angelina Nguyen at [email protected]