CPC Increases Awareness for the Developmental Needs of Satellite Babies
On December 21, 2016, Sinovision broadcasted a story on the increasing number of “satellite babies” in the US. The reporter spoke to several families, staff from programs servicing these students, including interviewing the director of CPC’s Queens School-Age Child Care Center at PS20 (Lois Lee), students, volunteers and staff of the program about their experience being a satellite baby and working with children who are "satellite babies".
A “satellite baby” is a child who is born in the USA but sent for kinship care abroad and then returns to the USA to be raised by their parents when they are old enough to go to school. Parents opt for this lifestyle due to various economic limitations, work nontraditional hours and hold multiple jobs. Ms. Lee spoke about the daily struggles parents are faced with daily to make ends meet. With the cost of childcare increasing, it becomes increasingly hard for low income, immigrant parents to keep their children with them. This makes the need for affordable childcare for infant toddlers and preschool children incredibly important. Affordable childcare is needed so children can stay with their parents and the parents can help with their child’s social-emotional needs.
Various experts noted during the broadcast that changing the caretaker for young children can cause disruptions in the child’s stable environment and result in a disruption in their development. Some children might exhibit signs of aggression, anxiety or depression because the caregivers that they have remember being dependent upon has changed suddenly. This can make it harder for parents to recognize developmental issues in their child. If the child can stay with the parents, the parents are able to get to know their child and their tendencies. A nurse at PS 20 working with an autistic child said that the parent thought the child's behavior problem was due to the grandparents spoiling the child. If the parents and child stayed together during the early years of the child's development, the parent could have gotten an early diagnosis for the child at age 2 or 3 and participation in an Early Intervention Program in the US. They were shocked when the Kindergarten teacher recommended the child to be evaluated for autism.
Ms. Lee introduced the book, Satellite Baby, that the children in her program wrote. Her students embraced their identity as “satellite baby” and the importance of the book that they wrote to help other "satellite babies." She encouraged parents to spend as much time as they can with their children, read a story when you get home from work, sit with their child and talk about what they did at school, let your children know that they are a part of the family and are loved.