New research by The Oregon Early Learning Division (ELD) shows how severely COVID-19 impacted Oregon’s child care and education programs’ ability to remain open and serve families.
The pandemic resulted in programs operating at two-thirds of their desired capacity and half reported at least one program closure in the past year. And even when programs stayed open, many reduced or furloughed their workforce.
Katherine Pears, a senior research scientist at OSLC Developments, Inc. emphasized why this outcome is so detrimental: “These are critical losses, particularly from the standpoint of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The loss of these providers may mean that multilingual children and families will have even fewer opportunities to use child care in which staff reflect their cultural background and who speak the child’s language, deepening inequities.”