Early childhood care and education programs have been hit hard by COVID-19. Except for emergency care, all center-based and home-based programs in Massachusetts were shut down for several months, and many have yet to reopen. In addition, many educators have been laid off, and — since social distancing with toddlers is tricky — the way forward is unclear. Senior Research Scientist Wendy Wagner Robeson, Ed.D., of WCW’s Work, Families and Children Research Group, is helping to chart a path.
Robeson has been participating in daily calls with other early childhood care and education advocates in Massachusetts, led by the nonprofit organization Strategies for Children. The group has been in communication with state and federal leaders about how and when child care programs can reopen safely, and what support they and their workers need after that happens.
On May 7, the group sent a letter expressing those needs to the Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board. They wrote, “No recovery will be successful if employees and working families do not have access to safe, affordable, high-quality child care for their children.”