Research-To-Practice Brief

Strategies to Guide the Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Relief Funding for Early Care and Education

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, families face additional challenges accessing child care, and child care providers are experiencing greater financial difficulties and are struggling to keep their programs open. The pandemic has also exacerbated racial, gender, and socioeconomic inequities within the child care system. Federal COVID-19 relief funds have been a critical support to keep early care and education programs (ECE) afloat and to ensure families can access care. This brief highlights some of the strategies states are pursuing to address equity in allocating their child care funds under the American Rescue Plan. It also provides a framework to support decision making around how to use recovery funds that focuses on families’ needs and preferences—particularly families facing barriers to accessing high-quality ECE.

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