CHILDCARE AND COVID-19: How States and Children’s Cabinets are Funding Near-Term Capacity and Planning for Long-Term Needs

“The work ahead to harness this as an opportunity to create a new definition of normal and reimagine the system is going to take a well-coordinated and very holistic approach. We can’t simply continue to address these problems as separate items.”
Melissa Rooker, Kansas Children’s Cabinet & Trust Fund


As summer 2020 came to a close, the Forum for Youth Investment conducted a COVID Listening Tour to hear lessons and insights from the leaders of state children’s cabinets about how cabinets are navigating the pandemic, their most pressing concerns, and how they see the work ahead. This fall, the Forum will release a short series of briefs highlighting themes and findings from across cabinets.

This first brief focuses on a primary concern shared across cabinets: how to meet kids’ and families’ needs for appropriate school-day care for children as so many schools operate virtually. Importantly, the exacerbated need for child care during the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies longstanding challenges to equitable access to high-quality childcare, which many cabinets have already been working to confront.