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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Child care and COVID-19: support children by investing in early educators and program sustainability

AUTHOR(S)
Rebekah Levine Coley; Kathryn Tout

Institution: Society for Research in Child Development
Published: March 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the longstanding vulnerability of early care and education programs and inequities in the health and financial security of early educators. Addressing new and ongoing needs in the early care and education system (including schools, centers, and homes) is critical to supporting the well-being of children who rely on child care. Prior to March 2020, over 7.75 million children under 6 were cared for in regulated child care programs by one million early educators in center-based programs and one million paid home-based early educators.1 While deemed an essential service, child care programs suffered volatile impacts of the pandemic without the support and existing infrastructure available to other businesses. Policy strategies for recovery and rebuilding must address the short- and long-term needs of child care programs and the early educators who work in them. Attention is needed to address disparities in the experiences of early educators who are Black and Hispanic. Actions to support programs and the workforce can ultimately benefit children and families served in child care.
COVID-19 job and income loss jeopardize child well-being: income support policies can help

AUTHOR(S)
Rebekah Levine Coley

Institution: Society for Research in Child Development
Published: December 2020
Within just the first three months of the COVID-19 financial fallout, one in five children in the United States experienced the job loss of an adult in their household. As the pandemic continues and the challenges of job and income recovery persist, families will continue to face unprecedented economic uncertainty. The burdens of job loss and continued economic uncertainty are felt by a wide range of families, though they are especially elevated among lower-income households and families of color. COVID-19-driven increases in job loss, income instability, and resulting strains on housing and food security are impairing child and family wellbeing. Temporary policy supports – such as stimulus checks, expanded Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, rent moratoriums, and expanded food programs – helped stem these losses and protect children. Yet, burdensome distribution mechanisms and the temporary nature of such benefits limited their reach. As policy supports expire, economic harm is growing. Renewal and reinstatement of economic supports will reduce the stress of economic uncertainty, help financially stabilize families, and enhance parents’ capacity to support their children’s development.
New briefs address inequities in education during COVID-19 and how education policy and schools can support marginalized children and youth
Institution: Society for Research in Child Development
Published: September 2020
A new volume of Statement of the Evidence briefs examines the impact of systemic racism and the potential exacerbating effects of COVID-19 on racial-ethnic minority and LGBTQ+ children and youth. The five 2-page briefs, written by child development experts, including members of SRCD caucuses, draw upon developmental science and recent data to focus on the experiences each community faces. They also provide guidance on evidence-informed educational policies and practices to address the needs of each community. Educational policymakers and leaders can draw upon each community’s strengths and implement these recommendations to address the unique needs of these children.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.