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.
Together, let’s celebrate child care providers on National Provider Appreciation Day® — Friday, May 8, 2020. Whether you are part of a Child Care Resource and Referral agency (CCR&R), a business, a non-profit organization or a family who has relied on a child care provider, you recognize the important role providers have in caring for our nation’s children. They nurture and educate our youngest citizens while supporting parents who want or need to be part of our nation’s workforce.
Honoring child care providers will take on a more profound meaning for many this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Child care programs have been faced with many challenges: making difficult decisions about whether to close their doors or remain open to provide emergency care for essential workers, dealing with financial uncertainty, keeping informed on rapidly changing protocols, navigating financial relief programs and much more. Despite the challenges, child care providers continue to take steps to do what is best for children and families. Providers are among this country’s unsung heroes.
Updated March 27, 12:50 p.m.
With all the news and updates around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it can be difficult to grasp the proposals put forward by Congress. Below you will find a summary of each proposal passed or under consideration so far:
Long-term Head Start Impact on developmental outcomes for children in foster care
Lee, K. Child Abuse Neglect (March 2020).
Background: In 2016, about 437,000 children were in the foster system in the United States. Children in the foster care system are at higher risk for experiencing poverty, abuse, chronic diseases and developmental impairments. Children in foster care are also at greater risk for struggling academically due to instability in their living situations and inconsistent school attendance. These risk factors affect not only health outcomes but social-emotional and cognitive outcomes as well. Children in foster care are eligible to participate in the Head Start program, which pairs high-quality early care and education with family supports and access to specialized services. This study looks at whether participating in Head Start improves developmental outcomes for children involved with the foster care system.
Implementation Strategies Used by States to Support Physical Activity Licensing Standards for Toddlers in Early Care and Education Settings: An Exploratory Qualitative Study
Lessard, L., Speirs, K., and Slesinger, N. Childhood Obesity (September 2018).
Background: Childhood obesity is a major health concern that affects even very young children, like those served in early care and education (ECE) settings. Participating in at least 90 minutes of physical activity each day helps young children establish healthy routines and make them less likely to experience obesity. States can make sure children in ECE are getting enough physical activity by setting licensing regulations for the time and intensity of daily active play. This study looks at strategies and obstacles to enforcing those regulations.
The health status of the early care and education workforce in the USA: A scoping review of evidence and current practice
Lessard, L.M., Wilkins, K., Rose-Malm, J., and Mazzocchi, M.C. Public Health Reviews (January 2020).
Background: Ten million young children in the U.S. are enrolled in an early care and education (ECE) program such as child care, Head Start or pre-kindergarten. These programs would not function without a workforce of roughly two million ECE teachers and support staff. The ECE workforce is made up almost entirely of women, disproportionately women of color, who earn low wages and receive few benefits. These factors suggest that the ECE workforce may be at a high risk for chronic diseases, but we know little about individuals’ health status. This paper looks at what information we have about the health of the workforce and what types of programs are being used to improve ECE workers’ health.