COVID-19 Resources for EC Funders
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the fragility of our nation’s early childhood and care policies and systems, and has widened and deepened the disparities in health, education, child care and basic needs among families with young children. ECFC has prioritized the role of funders in responding to the basic/immediate needs of grantees and families in their communities, while looking to long-term sustainability strategies partnering philanthropy and public funding to ensure a more equitable and sufficient post-pandemic response to the early childhood and child care needs.
Guiding Principles for EC Funders During the Pandemic (Updated May 2020)
- Ask Grantees and Other Community Organizations What They Need
- We Need Both/And Strategy Between Advocacy and More Direct Responses
- Target Investments for Impact and Supplement (not replace) Public Response
- Flexible Philanthropic Practice is Key
- This Will Be a Marathon, Not a Sprint (A.K.A. What Comes Next?)
Emerging EC Sector Needs & Investment Opportunities
Based on what we heard in 2020, and keeping in mind our guiding principles, the following are some areas of need that emerged that continue to be areas early childhood funders may wish to consider. Additional or different needs may emerge. Link to our full analysis of why these are critical needs and opportunities for funders to address these needs (or click on individual needs below).
- Peer Learning & Sharing Calls for EC Funders – In 2020, ECFC launched weekly calls (April through November) to provide opportunities for funders and philanthropic advisors to connect and learn from each other around COVID-19 responses at the intersection of early childhood. View the Weekly Call archives and upcoming call schedule.
- Emergency Fund Demand & Grantmaker Responses – In Spring 2020, ECFC tracked key data about state and local ECE emergency funds with philanthrophic support/involvement – how many applicants are applying; how quickly funds are running out. We supplied the data we gathered with leading advocates to help their advocacy efforts about the need for public investment in ECE during the pandemic. Read ECFC’s Analysis of the reach and limits of privately funded emergency efforts. [Tracking Chart, last updated May 2020]
Key Resources for EC Funders
Impact of COVID-19 on moms, babies, and young children
ECFC March 18, 2021 webinar hosted with Einhorn Collaborative on initial findings of the COVID-19 Mother Baby Outcomes (COMBO) Study, a research initiative launched in Spring of 2020, in response to overwhelming interest in mother-infant health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the recording and view related resources. Read a reflection on our discussion by Ira Hillman, Strategy Lead – Bonding, at the Einhorn Collaborative.
A Guide to COVID-19 and Early Childhood Development – A compilation of tools, guides, podcasts and other resources from the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child related to young children and COVID19, including topics such as mental health, and applying a racial equity lens.
Advocacy & Real-Time State Action Resources
Child Care Aware of America [Status of child care and state resource]
Federal Actions & Updates
Stimulus Legislation – United Philanthropy Forum’s COVID-19 Public Policy Resources Tab includes congressional summaries, CRS reports, highlights of bill provisions, and resources related to the CARES Act.
Overview of Child Care Relief included in the CARES Act (April 2) First Five Years Fund
What Child Care Needs to Know About the New Unemployment Insurance (March 27) Bipartisan Policy Center and Committee for Economic Development
Federal Program Guidance: Head Start Guidance and Flexibility, Child Care and Development Fund, OHS guidance
on use of Head Start facilities and teachers for emergency child care.
What Happens Next?
- Want to Support Your Community’s Equitable Recovery from COVID-19? Invest in Childcare, April 22, 2020, co-authored with The Bridgespan Group, discusses the role of funders over the next few weeks or months – with considerations for funders who may not have supported early childhood organizations in the past
- Child Care Advocacy in a Post-COVID World – ECFC co-sponsored webinar series with The Robins Foundation and Save The Children Action Network
- Open Strong: Five Crucial Issue Areas for State Early Childhood Advocates and Policymakers to Promote the Reopening of a Strong, Safe, Equitable, and Well-Funded Child-Care Sector in Their States (6/7) The Alliance for Early Success Open Strong Working Group
- State Messaging Guide: Calling for New Investment in Essential Child Care Infrastructure, Alliance for Early Success
- A (Mostly Serious) 10-year Plan to Transform U.S. Child Care by Elliot Haspel, Program Officer, Education Policy & Research, Robins Foundation, featured in Capita (April 27).
- Home Grown’s State Leadership and Administrator Guide created to facilitate and promote prioritization of supports for home-based child care.
- Reinvent vs. Rebuild: Let’s Fix the Child Care System, by Louise Stoney
- A Path to High-Quality Child Care through Partnerships, Educare Learning Network’s 8-part blog series highlighting the importance of Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships to maintain our nation’s supply of quality child care today and to strengthen infant toddler child care as we rebuild our systems of care and family supports.