The coronavirus public health crisis highlighted the challenges of decades of underinvestment in the early care and education (ECE) system, exposing deep inequities and making them worse. During the 2010 recession, early care and education programs took substantial hits in funding, decimating systems that prepare children to enter kindergarten and keep families strong and communities afloat. This crisis makes it clear that the gross under-investment in this critical service impacts every aspect of our economy. Consequently, this sector is uncounted and hidden, yet there is no economic recovery without the ECE system.
OECE’s COVID-19 Position Paper, published in May 2020, outlined our key recommendations to provide sufficient and adequate support for the pandemic emergency early education, as well as continued investment to ensure that the ECE system could remain whole and prepared to open when the current restrictions began to be relaxed.