This season, getting an Influenza(flu) vaccine is essential in protecting the health of children, their families, and child care providers. Flu is a contagious respiratory illness that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. Although there are some exceptions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone six months or older should get a flu vaccine annually. Flu is most common during the fall and winter. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a flu vaccine is more important than ever.
This fall, as schools make difficult decisions about when and how to reopen during the pandemic, families also face tough choices. Parents across the country are struggling to balance holding down a job or pursuing their own education with attending to their children’s health, education, safety and social connections.
By Donna Butts and Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the essential role of caregivers, those who care for us when we are young and old, and given us an opportunity to reimagine care from a lifespan perspective. This will be particularly important after the pandemic permanently closes an estimated 30-50% of child care providers nationwide and the high death toll causes us to reimagine elder care homes.
On September 24, we released our fall report Picking Up the Pieces: Building a Better Child Care System Post COVID-19. Alongside this report, we feature an interactive website that includes videos, infographics and a map where you can get data for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. You can also access a PDF version of the report in English or Spanish and our annual Appendices that analyze child care prices in 2019.
The process of searching for child care is undeniably one of the most difficult processes for families with young children to navigate. We are excited to share with you a newly refreshed suite of on-the-go child care information brochures that help you talk with Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies and providers when choosing safe and quality care.
In the wake of the coronavirus, child care is facing serious challenges. While the field has come together to ensure public health guidance is followed, that care is available for frontline personnel, and that additional reopening of the sector is approached appropriately, more is needed to ensure that child care programs, both center-based and family child care, survive in the long term.