By Carlos Gallego
ST. PAUL (Feb. 16, 2012) — Today eight Vietnamese women interested in becoming licensed childcare providers successfully completed the required initial child care licensing orientation presented by Ramsey County staff. Marie Tran, community leader and Choua Her, Community Outreach Coordinator at Think Small (formally Resources for Child Caring) have been working with 11 Vietnamese community members since April in facilitating the trainings required to meet the licensing requirements. These classes have included: CPR, 1st Aid, SIDS & Shaken Baby Syndrome as well as child development topics.
Since first coming to Minnesota in the 1970’s, Vietnamese have found success in many areas including media, technology, education, small business including; hair & nail salons, restaurants markets, insurance companies aside from having some of their manufacturing businesses recognized nationally. However, few have started their own child care businesses. Currently, there is only one Vietnamese licensed child care providers compared to more than 100 in the Hmong Community.
The Vietnamese similar to other refugee and immigrant communities wish to balance maintaining their traditional values and customs with ensuring their kids are prepared to succeed in American. Many prefer to have their children cared for by their relatives including grandparents, uncles and aunts, older siblings, etc. When family members are not available many strongly prefer having members from their own community provide care. As there is an absence of licensed childcare providers those who care for the children are considered Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN). FFN care givers provide the bulk of child care in the Vietnamese communities.