Historic Crisis, Historic Opportunity: Using Evidence to Mitigate the Effects of the COVID-19 Crisis on Young Children and Early Care and Education Programs.
Weiland, Christina. Greenberg,Erica. Bassok, Daphna. Markowitz, Anna J. Guerrero-Rosada, Paola. Luetmer, Grace. Et al.
Education Policy Initiative (University of Michigan) Urban Institute.
Published: June 2021
University of Michigan, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
440 Lorch Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
This report shares findings from a systematic review that examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the educational experiences and outcomes of young children. The research included a review of 63 high-quality studies on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the education of young children, including children in family child care homes, Head Start, center-based programs, and public school-based programs for preschoolers through second graders. Findings indicate the pandemic had profound impacts both on children and on the programs and educators that serve them. The research indicates that due to pre-pandemic systemic inequities, these effects were not equally born and children from families with low incomes, children of color, and dual language learners (DLLs) bore more of the brunt of the crisis than their peers. Similarly, the report notes due to longstanding inequities in public investments, family child care homes and child care centers suffered greater impacts than Head Start programs and public schools. Specific findings indicate: early childhood education (ECE) attendance dropped substantially; enrollment declines varied by program type and family characteristics; remote-only settings saw steeper drops; ECE programs used innovative approaches to family engagement, particularly for remote learners; despite early educators’ efforts remote learning was difficult for families and children; the quality of young children’s in-person learning experiences appears to have declined; the quality of remote learning was lower than in-person learning; time on learning declined for many young children; families played an oversized role in children’s learning; and K-2 children experienced setbacks in their learning. Research findings from 53 studies on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on early care and education programs are then shared. The report closes with actionable, evidence-backed, and equity-centered solutions for addressing young children’s immediate needs, stabilizing hard-hit ECE programs, and mitigating longer-term ramifications of the crisis. 187 references.
COVID-19; DISASTER RESPONSE; SCHOOL PROBLEMS; ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT; EDUCATION; SCHOOL CHILDREN; EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION; HEAD START; RACIAL DISPARITY; SOCIOECONOMIC INFLUENCES; SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS