Using the Access Framework to Guide Child Care Policy during the COVID-19 Crisis

Publication Date:

August 26, 2020



The COVID-19 health crisis has upended the child care sector by further crippling an already financially fragile, long underfunded child care system. This is especially true for those providing care for low-income families receiving child care subsidies funded through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)—the largest federally funded child care program. Mandated child care closures and new space and safety restrictions upon reopening threaten to drastically reduce the child care supply; only 18 percent of child care programs report feeling confident they will be able to stay open past a year without financial support[1]; and among providers, those serving low-income communities, including families receiving child care subsidies, are the most likely to need to close their doors.


[1] National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2020). Holding On Until Help Comes A Survey Reveals Child Care’s Fight to Survive. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

[2] Karpman, M, Zuckerman, S., Gonzalez, D., and Kenney, G.M. (2020). The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Straining Families’ Abilities to Afford Basic Needs Low-Income and Hispanic Families the Hardest Hit. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

[3] Malik, R., Hamm, K., Lee, W.F., Davis, E.E., and Sojourner, A. (2020) The Coronavirus Will Make Child Care Deserts Worse and Exacerbate Inequality. Washington, DC: Center for American Progress.