Weekly Review: Schools, Students, and COVID-19 – March 15, 2021

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Weekly Review: Schools, Students, and COVID-19 – March 15, 2021

Last week, Congress passed, and President Biden signed into law, the American Rescue Plan Act. The legislation has pronounced implications for schools and students with substantial dollars targeted to K-12 education and higher education, funding to support the childcare industry, and an expanded child tax credit. The nearly $130 billion heading to K-12 school districts constitutes the largest single federal outlay in history, and is earmarked for facilitating safe in-person reopening and providing resources to redress learning setbacks caused by pandemic-induced schooling disruptions.

A recent research brief, released by the Society for Research on Child Development, describes how the childcare industry has been affected by COVID-19. The brief highlights the essential role of high-quality childcare in supporting working parents and preparing children for success in school and beyond, and explains how the pandemic exacerbated the industry’s already precarious situation. The summary emphasizes the negative ramifications for childcare providers themselves and their children.

Recommendations include:

  • Funding to address increased costs during the pandemic and to stabilize childcare providers,
  • Policies to support early educators in implementing new safety guidelines and provisions to ensure their health and safety as they care for children,
  • Mental health services and supports to address early educators’ needs as well as strategies to support children’s healthy behavioral and emotional development during the pandemic, and
  • Strategies to ensure equity in the development and implementation of initiatives to avoid furthering or exacerbating the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on early educators and children of color.

A report from researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’s Community Development and Engagement Group finds that mothers of young children have left the labor market in large numbers during the pandemic, likely due to schooling and childcare disruptions. Mothers’ labor force participation rates have not rebounded while the rates among fathers have.

|2021-03-15T09:41:22-04:00March 15th, 2021|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on Weekly Review: Schools, Students, and COVID-19 – March 15, 2021

About the Author: Chloe Gibbs

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Chloe Gibbs, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame where she is also a faculty affiliate of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families, and the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities. Professor Gibbs studies the effectiveness of policies and programs outside of the regular school day and year and beyond the traditional classroom to understand how different investments affect children's educational trajectories. Some of her recent projects investigate the impact of Head Start, parenting interventions, virtual summer school in the middle grades, and comprehensive supports for high school students at-risk of dropping out. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and cited by the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

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