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States Address Child Care Issues in the Shadow of COVID-19

Child care teacher feeding infant in high chair

Across the nation, states are in different stages of creating and implementing policies to protect and support children, families, and child care providers as COVID-19 impacts all areas of their residents’ lives.

Proactive and positive changes that some states are making include:

• Waiving parent co-pays for child care services;

• Expanding family eligibility for subsidy support;

• Increasing the number of days that a child care provider can be paid when a child is absent from the program;

• Ensuring that providers can be paid if they close the program due to COVID-19;

• Tracking program closures and slot openings on state helplines;

• Providing emergency child care for government social services staff and/or first responders when other programs have closed;

• Providing paid sick leave for child care staff;

• Extending unemployment benefits to self-employed workers, including family child care providers;

• Ensuring provider access to cleaning supplies and food for children; and

• Creating mechanisms for families to continue to access food for children via the Child and Adult Care Food Program if their child care settings have closed.

As states look for solutions, it is critical that they maintain crucial safeguards for young children, particularly around adult-child ratios, group sizes, and health and safety practices and training. Changing these safeguards may put our youngest children and their child care providers in more danger of COVID-19 transmission.

To help you stay up-to-date with how states are approaching the pandemic, the Alliance for Early Success is collecting and maintaining the latest strategies and resources by state.

As you address this pandemic in your state, please reach out to us at ZERO TO THREE at [email protected] for support in finding resources related to a specific topic or to connect with other policymakers or advocates. Our staff are tracking changes and resource development to help you quickly find what you need.


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