Zero to Three: A Crash Course
4 Tips for Covering the Recovery of the Child Care Industry
Mindful approaches to reporting on early education and child care
The Biden administration’s ambitious plan to expand access to free universal preschool, increase the wages of child care providers to at least $15 an hour, and make child care more affordable for families sent ripples of optimism through the child care industry when unveiled this spring.
The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented interest in child care. Without child care, many parents cannot work. At the same time, providers are struggling to remain open.
Those facilities that have powered through the pandemic are serving fewer children, have laid off staff and have encountered additional costs, such as cleaning supplies and PPEs. Many have closed, possibly permanently.
Covering the Pandemic Child Care Crisis
Experts discuss how existing inequities have been exacerbated in the strained sector
America’s system of child care was already seriously strained by surging expenses, high staff turnover and dwindling capacity before the pandemic upended everything.
“COVID really just highlighted the pre-existing situations and challenges of the early childhood system across the nation,” said Dionne Dobbins, the senior director of research at Child Care Aware of America, a research and advocacy group. “When COVID hit, it was layering it on top of a very fragile child care system — and, you know, some would say it even shattered.”
What’s on the Horizon for Early Childhood Education in 2021?
Local and national preschool efforts provide clues
Eight months into the pandemic, voters in Multnomah County, Oregon, approved a new tax on high earners to fund a program called Preschool For All.
The action represents a major early childhood investment during a recession that threatens to drive many child care providers out of business. It also puts forth a compelling model for solving some of the problems that publicly funded preschool and child care programs in other states and cities haven’t fully addressed.