NEWS FROM THE FIELD

The 11-member Massachusetts congressional delegation wrote to Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday urging him to release data on cases of coronavirus at child-care centers.

Childcare providers – who are vital to letting working parents return to the office – were hard-hit by the mandated closures in March and are facing significant costs to reopen.

Massachusetts needs a new social compact for early childhood education.

Society’s perception of child care being of lesser quality to education has rarely been so pronounced.

Cheryl Odom runs a home-based family child care program in Columbus, Ohio, that had to close for more than two months as part of the effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.1 As of July 7, the program was operating for just three days of the week and serving four children at a time, rather than the usual six. A recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the county delayed Odom’s plan to resume providing care five days a week.

With day-care centers shuttered or severely restricting enrollment, and school districts opting for remote learning, many women are finding they just can’t make their jobs work during the pandemic. That could have lasting consequences.

The U.S. House passed a pair of bills Wednesday that aim to help the child care industry as providers and early-learning centers struggle in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced a sweeping new $775 billion investment in caregiving programs on Tuesday, with a series of proposals covering care for small children, older adults and family members with disabilities.

While the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on public schools (and the families that send their kids there) has dominated news cycles recently, the programs that care for preschool-aged children also face a very uncertain future.

On May 21, 2020, we wrote in this space on the lifeline of a Child Care Stabilization Fund that the House of Representatives nearly extended to the child care sector as it finalized the HEROES Act.

Nearly a third of the nation’s workforce has children at home, and they’re struggling. Researchers estimate nearly 10 percent of economic activity won’t happen as long as schools and day cares remain closed.

By the time available federal and state child care subsidies are divided among the small fraction of eligible families served, checks are so small providers can barely make ends meet.

How investing in early childhood programs will help the U.S. recover post-pandemic.

The child care center sector in the United States was already on precarious grounds — prohibitively expensive for many families, despite operating on thin financial margins, while paying most workers less than $11 an hour.

There is near-universal consensus that early-childhood education programs can break
cycles of poverty and lead to lasting upward mobility. But funders say they have always
been fragile, and have only become more so due to COVID-19.

When COVID-19 hit, researchers at the University of Oregon wanted to know how the pandemic was affecting families, so they formed RAPID-EC.

Daycare providers in Massachusetts given the green-light to reopen, but don’t see a viable way forward.

Twenty-five years ago, the Carnegie Corporation released “Starting Points,” a report that described the lack of child care for infants and toddlers as a “quiet crisis.” It painted a bleak picture of overwhelmed families, persistent poverty, inadequate health care and child care of such poor quality that it threatened young children’s intellectual and emotional development.

If day cares closed because of the novel coronavirus, Aimee expected her family to fare better than most. She worked full time as the chief executive of a tech company while her husband stayed home.

Like many child care providers, Moran serves families who pay out of their own pockets as well as low-income families who qualify for public subsidies.

 

© Copyright 2020

Massachusetts Early Childhood Funder Collaborative