Giving Compass' Take:

• The author talks with Carol Austin, executive director of First Up, who offers insight into the necessary solutions that are needed to improve early childhood education during COVID-19. 

• What is philanthropy's role in supporting early childhood education? What areas need the most help?

• Here's an article on using data to advocate for early childhood education. 

The livelihood of working women in today’s society depends on affordable and accessible childcare throughout the nation. With women rising in ranks professionally and climbing corporate ladders, having access to childcare is essential for women to stay in the workforce. Despite the pressing need for quality yet affordable childcare, the current state of the Early Childhood Education sector has become a barrier for parents, especially mothers, who disproportionately take on caregiving responsibilities when their family cannot find or afford childcare.

Prior to COVID-19, the Early Childhood Education (ECE) sector faced troubling factors, placing them into a precarious state, only to be exacerbated by the current global crisis. Due to inadequate funding, low pay for teachers, and a lack of resources, the ECE sector has been neglected by policymakers on a state and federal level. For far too long, the United States has gotten away with underfunding and providing insufficient access to quality childcare for women, and especially for low income families and people of color. The coronavirus pandemic has only amplified these disparities, proving the current system in place is failing American families and ECE providers.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Carol Austin who is the Executive Director of First Up, a nonprofit organization committed to providing resources and assistance to ECE providers in the 5-county region. To learn more about the ECE sector and how her organization is providing aid during this crisis, Carol Austin dives into the financial precariousness of these centers, and offers insight to the necessary solutions that are needed to improve its conditions.

Read the full article about how COVID-19 is threatening early childhood education by Imani Harris at Medium.