Yesterday, Groundwork Ohio’s Assistant Director and Legal Counsel, Lynanne Gutierrez, joined the Schubert Center for Child Studies and the Swetland Center for Environmental Health, along with other child care researchers and advocates to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 among staff and families affiliated with child care programs across the state.
“Our families, our children, our communities, and our economy all are all relying on our child care and the child care workforce,” Gutierrez said. “It was certainly clear throughout the pandemic that the child care system has been broken for many years, perhaps since its inception, it has not been adequately funded and resourced, and here in this crisis period of time, we are really seeing that come to light and it is certainly a call to action for all of us.
This seminar presented research from the Ohio COVID-19 Child Care Study, which focused on COVID-19 transmission trends in childcare settings, perceptions of risk and safety among parents, caregivers, and workers, as well as levels of stress and coping mechanisms in response to the pandemic.
“More specifically around the recommendation, it has to begin with access to the vaccine for child care professionals. Child care should be prioritized alongside K-12 educators and Ohio is one of only four states that has not done so yet,” said Gutierrez. “We are certainly seeing disproportion outcomes in terms of access to care. Low-income families need this lifeline in order to go to work and to support their child’s healthy development because we will continue to see the outcomes of this disproportionate impact well throughout their lifetimes, certainly exasperated by this pandemic.”
The robust discussion highlighted the lessons learned for managing the impact of the healthcare crisis on child care and what the next steps are for moving forward. The virtual seminar highlighted other key voices with expertise in child health and wellbeing to address the value of child care and the importance of this sustained investment.
The Ohio COVID-19 Child Care Study was funded by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation in partnership with Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
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Community Co-sponsors for the event: 4C for Children, Action for Children, The Centers for Families and Children, Child Care Resource Center, Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development, Early Childhood Resource Center,Groundwork Ohio, HOPE Toledo, Invest in Children, Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children,Ohio Child Care Resource & Referral Association, PRE4CLE, Preschool Promise, Inc. - Dayton/Montgomery, SWOAEYC and Starting Point (as of 2/10/21)