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An Oral History of Early Childhood Educators During the Pandemic

Yessika Magdaleno, owner of a home-based child care program in Orange County, Calif., is a problem-solver by nature. When she opened her program 20 years ago, she attracted families by expanding her hours to nights and weekends to accommodate those with non-traditional work hours.

When she felt that her own children were not well-served by the local afterschool program, Magdaleno expanded her program to include afterschool care. But even with her knack for problem-solving, Magdaleno was unprepared for the extreme stress and uncertainty of being an early childhood educator during this pandemic year.