New Report from Yale University: COVID-19 Risk Among Child Care Providers
Researchers from Yale University released findings from a survey of over 55,000 child care providers regarding community transmission of COVID-19 within the child care system. The survey, COVID-19 Transmission in U.S. Child Care Programs, is one of the largest epidemiological studies on a workforce ever conducted.
The study found that exposure to child care was not associated with an elevated risk of spreading COVID-19 to providers, as long as programs continue to follow core health and safety practices. The study also identifies that community spread matters and that child care programs will need to be responsive to localized transmission of COVID-19, which may result in ongoing closures or other challenges. More specifically:
- Child care programs that stayed open were particularly conscientious in following recommended infection control measures, including frequent hand washing and disinfection of surfaces, daily symptom checks, physical distancing, and cohorting.
- In areas with high rates of community spread of COVID-19 – with local positive test rates above 5% – providers were more likely to contract the virus, whether their programs were open or closed.
- Black, Latino and Native American child care providers were more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and be hospitalized for it.
- Only 35.2% of the respondents indicated that staff were wearing masks. While children may not be likely to transmit the virus to adults, adults are likely to spread it to children. Wherever possible, it seems pertinent to remind everyone, not just childcare workers, to continue wearing masks, as recommended by this study.
The report illustrates that child care providers are working hard to support families and keep their communities safe, but child care cannot continue to operate safely and survive this pandemic without robust federal investment. This research supports our efforts to continue advocating for $50 billion in additional federal funding so child care providers can keep following infection mitigation efforts, and programs can be supported as they respond to fluctuating transmission rates within their communities.
For more information, check out this Yale News article related to the Yale Child Care Study.