Giving Compass' Take:

• As working parents continue to struggle through quarantine, Equitable Growth's Sam Abbott discusses the pros and cons of reopening child care facilities.

• How might the decision to reopen disproportionately impact marginalized groups? How can you support research for the potential impact of reopening child care facilities?

Find resources to guide you in supporting those impacted by child care facility closures during COVID.

Adapting to life during the coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for nearly everyone, but parents—particularly those with young children—are facing day-in, day-out work-life conflicts with no end in sight. Whether they are continuing to work from home, unemployed, or still working outside the house, providing for their children without the support of schools, daycare, camps, or even help from grandparents is taking an emotional and economic toll.

For weeks, experts and parents alike have been warning that child care will be essential in any economic recovery from the coronavirus recession. Without it, many parents, particularly women, will have to weigh dropping out of the labor force or reducing their work hours if their caregiving responsibilities remain incompatible with their work responsibilities. Still, plans to reopen schools and child care facilities remain scattershot, largely driven by uncertainty about how coronavirus infections spread in such environments, how children may contract or spread the virus to adult staff, and how susceptible children themselves are to COVID-19, the disease spread by the coronavirus.

Recent research suggests that the child care market will be unprepared to provide care in a post-pandemic environment without significant public investment. If parents are shifting their preferences as a result of the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis—either by desiring smaller providers or working more nonstandard hours—then the policy challenges of providing high-quality and affordable care will only grow.

More research on what child care services families need and what the child care industry is poised to provide will help target the policy response supporting families as they return to work and fuel the economic recovery.

Read the full article about reopening child care facilities by Sam Abbott at Equitable Growth.