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Revaluing Care in the Times of COVID-19

Updated: Aug 11


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the issues in the United States childcare system; included in this list of problems is the funding of the childcare system. Childcare providers and agencies are currently in the process of determining whether they will open, which leaves moms with the added stress to figure out potential childcare for their children. Without childcare, moms will not be able to work and further contribute to the economic system. Because of this, the conversation around childcare and funding is seen now more than ever as important conversation to be had.


Amanda Kang ’22, a public policy major at Duke University, worked with Professor Jocelyn Olcott to organize a workshop to discuss how COVID-19 has exacerbated existing problems within the childcare system. They were joined by U.S. Representative Katherine Clark of the Fifth District of Massachusetts, Rhian Evans Allvin, CEO of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and Dr. Bisa Batten Lewis, President of the Black Child Development Institute-Atlanta (BCDI-Atlanta). Listen to the recording of this workshop.


Some of the key points made for children, families and communities of color are listed below.

  1. Many small child care programs, which are mainly run by women and women of color, have dealt with financial hardship because of COVID-19 related issues. Because most of them do not have great relationships with financial institutions, due to systemic and structural racism, they could not access financial assistance such as the small business loans. This led to a high number of closings among this population. This directly impacts Black children and families, as they are most represented in the small women of color ran child care programs.

  2. Equity has been an issue in how to set up funding for childcare providers. In the Black community specifically, when applying for grant funding, it is often denied. Thus, Black childcare providers are forced to acquire loans that may cause further financial issues. More support is needed to help Black childcare providers structure and manage their money. Promote equity!

  3. The Black vote matters! Register to vote so that you can have a say in child care funding. Hold your representatives accountable to issues of gender and racial equity, and childcare issues.

  4. Many small child care programs, which are mainly run by women and women of color, have dealt with financial hardship because of COVID-19 related issues. Because most of the providers in these small child care programs do not have great relationships with financial institutions, due to systemic and structural racism, they could not access financial assistance such as the small business loans. This led to a high number of closings among this population. This directly impacts Black children and families, as they are most represented in the small women of color ran child care programs.

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