Newcomer families' experiences with programs and services to support early childhood development in Canada: A scoping review
It can be difficult for families with young children to navigate early childhood development supports. In particular, newcomer families often encounter additional barriers and require resources, programs, and services that are tailored to their unique assets, experiences, and needs. We conducted a scoping review of the literature published between 2000 and 2019 to explore what is known about newcomer families’ experiences with programs and services to support early childhood development in Canada. We searched 12 databases, screened 2390 articles, and included 34 articles for synthesis and analysis. Three common and connected themes were identified: 1) effective intercultural understanding, responsiveness, and communication are critical to ensuring full access to meaningful programs and services; 2) some newcomer families face systemic barriers exacerbated by their immigration status, and; 3) feelings and perceptions of families and service providers, as well as social supports, networks, and relationships influence how programs and services are accessed and experienced. Our review identifies the requirement for additional, participatory research that centres the voices and perspectives of newcomer children and their families and the need to expand that research to less populated and rural areas of the country to inform meaningful and culturally relevant policies, programs, and services for newcomer families to support their children’s well-being.
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