Although school buildings in Philadelphia will remain closed this fall, St. Mary’s Nursery School, a secular child care center founded in 1964, will remain open. St. Mary’s, which serves children ages 18 months to 12 years, typifies an odd juxtaposition: As more public schools are moving to remote learning, child care programs and after-school providers in major cities are taking in more children of families who cannot work remotely. The duality of the conversations around child care programs and public schools is rooted in a perceived gap between what “care” and “education” mean. That gap has set the two sectors on different paths of funding, governance and professional power.
A report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into an outbreak at a summer camp in Georgia suggests children–even asymptomatic cases–may play an important role in community transmission of COVID-19. The claim contradicts a number of earlier studies where the consensus appeared to be that children rarely transmit the virus between themselves or to other people. This week 260 employees in one of Georgia’s biggest school districts were barred from entering their schools to plan for reopening because they either had the virus or had been in contact with an infected individual.