The Straus Center for Young Children & Families conducts and promotes practice-oriented, policy-relevant, and equity-committed research, with a particular concern for inequities caused by the interaction of racism, poverty, and trauma.
New York Early Care and Education Survey: Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on New York Early Childhood System
Kate Tarrant and Mark Nagasawa
This is the first in a series of reports based upon a survey conducted with 3355 early childhood educators across New York City and New York State, which sought to understand how they were faring during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic (May 2020). Among the key findings were: (1) at that time the emotional stress of the pandemic was affecting respondents more than health and financial stressors; (2) Educators’ need for mental health supports exceed other areas of support requested; (3) approximately 70% were engaged in remote instruction in New York City and half were providing remote instruction in the rest of state; (4) approximately 1 in 5 program leaders reported that their program was closed and providing no services; (5) remote learning was prevalent, and staff were committed to, but struggling with, delivering engaging and developmentally meaningful approaches; (6) respondents were struggling to meet administrative demands, particularly related to documentation; (7) partnering with families was challenging, given varied circumstances and limited access to resources and learning materials; (8) approximately 60% of program leaders reported they were fully paying their staff; and (9) programs funded through parent fees were most frequently closed and had furloughed or laid off staff.
Who Will Care for the Early Care and Education Workforce? COVID-19 and the Need to Support Early Childhood Educators’ Emotional Well-being
Mark Nagasawa and Kate Tarrant
This brief report describes issues and opportunities related to early childhood educators' emotional well-being that emerged from a survey exploring how the COVID-19 was affecting early educators across New York City and New York State (n=3355). We argue, given the impacts that teachers reported and the scale of the pandemic, that a trauma-informed systems perspective is needed in order to support early childhood educators.