This research summary clarifies what is known about the extent to which COVID-19 spreads in child care and preschool programs. The brief synthesizes findings from 11 studies conducted between January 2020 and January 2021 that measure transmission in these settings, both in the United States and internationally. This synthesis is meant to augment the summaries of the evidence on COVID-19 spread in k–12 schools and in children in general with a focus on the spread of COVID-19 in child care and preschool settings. The available evidence suggests that early learning programs are not associated with increased risk of contracting COVID-19 when health and safety precautions are in place.
NEPC Review: The Drawbacks of Universal Pre-K: A Review of the Evidence (Manhattan Institute, February 2021)
With universal pre-K and child care back on the national political agenda, increased scrutiny of these proposals is expected and welcome. A Manhattan Institute policy brief reviews evidence relating to both means-tested and universal early childhood care and education programs. However, the complexity of early care and education does not lend itself to simple policy prescriptions. A more meticulous review of the literature relying on fewer preconceptions might have led to more nuanced conclusions.