The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated challenges in the early care and education (ECE) sector, including: preexisting structural flaws; insufficient funding mechanisms; sector fragmentation; inadequate support for the workforce; and inequalities, such as the lack of access to high-quality care among low-income, rural populations, and communities of color. Addressing the impacts of the pandemic and the resulting economic recession on the ECE sector will require that state, local, and tribal decision makers use available COVID-19 relief funds to mitigate those impacts while also laying the foundation for longer-term solutions. This rapid expert consultation identifies mitigation strategies that could be implemented to achieve these goals.
This rapid expert consultation was produced through the Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN), an activity of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. SEAN links researchers in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences with decision makers to respond to policy questions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. This project is affiliated with the National Academies' Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats. The National Bureau of Economic Research with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation commissioned the white papers that informed the development of this rapid expert consultation.
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