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Issue brief

Promoting Sustainability of Child Care Programs during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Considerations for States in Allocating Financial Resources

This issue brief provides background information about the structures of child care costs and revenues and shows how the pandemic has affected the financial picture of providers. The paper also describes implementation issues for allocating financial resources to stabilize child care programs and the workforce. This resource supports the COVID-19 response.

During COVID-19, 1 in 5 Latino and Black Households with Children are Food Insufficient

This issue brief shares data from the Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey that indicate that 19% of Hispanic households and 22% of Black households were food insufficient this summer compared to 14% of all households and 9% of white households. Food insufficiency puts children at higher risk of health, academic, behavioral, and emotional problems. The brief suggests that federal and state governments should offer supports that were offered through Families First Coronavirus Response Act and other income and housing supports. This resource supports the COVID-19 response.  

Investing in the Early Care and Education Workforce

This issue brief focuses on three ways to support the early care and education (ECE) workforce: (1) Increasing access to education and career growth; (2) reinforcing workers overall economic well-being; and (3) improving working conditions. MDRC, which published this article, is launching a new national project to examine a variety of approaches.  

Family Child Care Providers: Unsung Heroes in the COVID-19 Crisis

This policy brief summarizes findings from 22 focus groups with family child care (FCC) providers in CA, FL, MA, and WI during spring 2020. It reviews challenges that FCC providers faced as they provided care during the pandemic and the strengths they have that make them uniquely suited to respond to child care needs.

In-Home Child Care for School-Age Children During Distance Learning

With many school districts providing partial or full online learning, there is increased need for child care for working parents. This issue brief includes videos of providers, and identifies recommendations for new supports on funding, shared planning and decision-making, and technical supports. This resource supports the COVID-19 response.  

A Review of State Plans for School Reopening: How to Maximize Afterschool and Community Partners as Key Allies in Enhanced Learning and Supports

This review of state plans for school reopening provides examples for ways states and districts can coordinate with afterschool programs to support their capacity, leverage resources, and support students and families. The report is organized into 12 topic areas, capturing examples from state plans on possible partnerships such as scenario planning across a student's full day; safety across uses of space; and supporting student interest and engagement. This resource supports the COVID-19 response. 

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

This issue brief provides a framework that states can use during the COVID-19 crisis to create child care policies that promote equitable access and mitigate the chance that child care closures will be concentrated in low-income and middle-income neighborhoods and rural areas. The ECE Access Project, supported by OPRE (Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation) in the Department of Health and Human Services, developed an access framework with four interrelated dimensions: (1) affordable; (2) supports child development; (3) meets parents' needs; and (4) reasonable efforts.

Considerations for Building Post-COVID Early Care and Education Systems that Serve Children with Disabilities

COVID-19 has had a major impact on services for children with disabilities, including loss of in-person therapy services like physical therapy and occupational therapy, loss of access to special education accommodations available through schools, and loss of health insurance to cover services for those families now unemployed.

Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs are Essential for COVID-19 Recovery

This issue brief outlines why OST programs are an essential part of the nationwide response to the coronavirus pandemic. It is a user-friendly look at how many children use or need afterschool programs and what impact quality programs have. It outlines what parents, businesses, schools, and state and local policymakers can do to support OST programs during COVID-19. This resource supports COVID-19 response.

Building Protective and Promotive Factors in Afterschool

This brief, based on a longer white paper, identifies and summarizes key findings in the existing literature on 12 protective and promotive factors relevant to afterschool. It then presents a conceptual model for how afterschool programs can use evidence-informed practices to impact protective and promotive factors to improve three important developmental outcomes: (1) substance misuse and abuse; (2) problem behaviors; and (3) academic performance. This resource supports the COVID-19 response.