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 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.
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.
The COVID-19 public health crisis is heightening awareness of child care as a core foundational need for both working parents and employers. Under typical circumstances, parents need accessible, safe and affordable child care so they can work. Employers also need quality child care options for their employees for their business to work. This year (2020) has been anything but typical. The COVID-19-induced erosion of an already broken child care system is having critical impacts on both parents with young children and their employers.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on July 15, 2020 but has since been updated with information from a new alert from the FDA about sanitizers that include isopropyl alcohol as an ingredient.
Child care providers implement hand hygiene procedures to keep children in care, their families and themselves healthy and well. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased hand hygiene vigilance in child care programs to protect against viral spread. Health experts recommend using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when hand washing with soap is not feasible. Hand sanitizer that once was extremely difficult to access early on in the coronavirus crisis, now is increasingly becoming more available. As a result of the pandemic, new hand sanitizer brands and products are being introduced into the consumer market. Unfortunately, some of the emerging hand sanitizer products are not safe to use, prompting alerts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).