Covid-19: Supporting Child Care

September 1, 2020

Edited By: Toria Herd & Cagla Giray

Contributor: Caroline Friedman Levy

Policy Recommendations

  • Each state has local child care resources and referral agencies (e.g., in Maine) and a quality rating system (e.g., in Maine) that are used to assist families and support high quality child care. It is recommended that the workforces for these resources in each state are well-staffed, trained, and funded to provide successful oversight of expansion.
  • Development of sustainable financing dedicated to child care (CCDBG, TANF, or local initiatives) tied to quality and safety standards is encouraged.
  • In expansion efforts of child care resources, deliberate and thoughtful hiring of a professionalized early childhood workforce, including early childhood education training, is critical for oversight and supervision.
  • In order for expansion efforts to promote equity, it is important that: a) child care can be provided for parents working nontraditional hours, b) support is given to early childhood educators from and to serve in underserved communities, and c) fair compensation is giving to our critical educational/caregiving workforce (currently nearly 15% of child care professional live below the federal poverty line and 85% do not have health insurance).
  • Expansion of trainings and technical assistance for business startup/education is recommended (e.g., through the state’s child care resources and referral agencies).
  • Policymakers may consider incentivizing ongoing quality improvements and updated trainings (e.g., tax credits for qualified, highly-rated child care providers).
  • It is recommended that Child Care and Development Fund reimbursements are increased to the federal recommended level (currently, most states reimburse at lower levels).
  • Finally, it may be helpful to expand income eligibility for subsidies and tax credits for families.


Helpful resource: Child Care Aware of America



  • Gould, E., & Blair, H. (2020). Who’s Paying Now? The Explicit and Implicit Costs of the Current Early Care and Education System. Economic Policy Institute.
  • Hashikawa, A. N., Sells, J. M., DeJonge, P. M., Alkon, A., Martin, E. T., & Shope, T. R. (2020). Child Care in the Time of Coronavirus Disease-19: A Period of Challenge and Opportunity. The Journal of Pediatrics.
  • Eckhardt, A. G., & Egert, F. (2020). Predictors for the quality of family child care: A meta-analysis. Children and Youth Services Review, 116, 105205.



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