Supporting Families and Child Care Providers during the Pandemic with a Focus on Equity
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 12 million children ages birth to 5 years were participating in some form of child care each week.1 Since March 2020, the pandemic has largely shut down, reduced, or disrupted the availability of child care across the nation. Restarting the child care industry,a while adhering to recommended guidance about health and safety precautions in the midst of the pandemic, is essential for helping parents get back to work and for preserving the child care workforce. Yet, some families seeking child care and some child care providers have been affected by the pandemic more than others. Addressing the unique needs of these families and providers requires that state and local policymakers and child care administrators develop an approach that is tailored to respond to these needs.
a This includes home- or center-based child care programs, summer camps, afterschool programs, and preschool programs.
1 Child Care Aware of America. (2019). Checking in on the Child Care Landscape. 2019 Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/3957809/State%20
2 U.S. Demographics of Low Income Children http://nccp.org/profiles/state_profile.php?state=US&id=6
3 U.S. Census Week 11 Household Pulse Survey: July 9 – July 14, 2020. Employment Table 1. Experienced and Expected Loss of Employment Income by Selected Characteristics. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2020/demo/hhp/hhp11.html
4 Paschall, K., Halle, T., & Maxwell, K. (2020). Early care and education in rural communities. OPRE Report #2020-62. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/cceepra_
5 McNicholas, C., & Poydock, M. (2020, May 19). Who are essential workers?: A comprehensive look at their wages, demographics, and unionization rates. Retrieved from https://www.epi.org/blog/who-are-essential-workers-a-comprehensive-look-at-their-wages-demographics-and-unionization-rates/
6 National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Project Team. (2020). Holding on Until Help Comes: A Survey Reveals Child Care’s Fight to Survive (Rep.). Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Retrieved from https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/our-work/public-policy-advocacy/holding_on_until_help_comes.survey_analysis_
7 Jessen-Howard, S., & Workman, S. (2020, April 24). Coronavirus Pandemic Could Lead to Permanent Loss of Nearly 4.5 Million Child Care Slots. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/news/2020/04/24/483817/coronavirus-pandemic-lead-permanent-loss-nearly-4-5-million-child-care-slots/