Winter break is right around the corner! 2020’s winter break (like most things) is impacted by COVID-19. The pandemic continues to sweep the nation. As the weather has turned colder and people have retreated indoors, virus transmission rates are soaring to levels not yet seen since the pandemic began. We all must do our part to reduce community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. That means that this year’s winter break may look and feel a little different for children and their families.
Without a doubt, families are an essential part of children’s learning and educational journey - starting at birth. “Engaging families as partners early in the educational journey allows parents to establish strong home-school connections that support their children’s achievement long-term “(Start Early, September 25, 2019). So, it is not surprising that “family engagement” is a frequent and important theme of discussions and planning in child care programs.
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.