Yet, anticipating that many schools will choose virtual schooling at some point this coming academic year, an issue arose from last school year unique to that practice: specifically, students and teachers losing contact with one another.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting economic impacts, ICS has highlighted issues facing children and families in our home state of South Carolina and beyond. As states begin moving toward reopening, following guidance from the Center for Disease Control as well as state and local experts, we want to spotlight how service providers working with families are considering needs and changing operations. Today, we are sharing a post from Tanya Camunas, Executive Director of A Child’s Haven, a provider of therapeutic child care (TCC) and other essential services in Greenville, South Carolina:
Over the last week, ICS collected responses to a survey of child care providers in South Carolina to better understand how the spread of COVID-19 – and the resulting economic impacts – are affecting the child care sector. The child care sector is essential to the health and well-being of millions of South Carolina families and to our economy as a whole.
Families that struggle to provide adequate food and nutrition likely faced tremendous barriers to being able to stockpile based on a lack of financial liquidity at the beginning of the crisis and may be experiencing significant anxiety related to meal provision.
…go to sleep and wake up at consistent times, set timeframes for meals, and create chunks of time for major activities such as work-related, school-related, physical exercise, connecting with others through technology, and family entertainment and playing...Dress for the social life you desire, not necessarily the more limited social life you have during this period of time. Put on some bright colors—how we dress can impact our mood and feelings about the day.
As of mid-April, 55 million American K-12 students are home from school in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with millions more young children who were served in child care settings – part of a global trend which sees 1.5 billion learners out of school. Millions of parents have been figuring out a desperate scramble to make this new arrangement work alongside their own employment and family needs, while some may be feeling most anxious about this ongoing health crisis.
We will highlight recommendations from experts, cross-system considerations, and opportunities to learn from other communities on health, education, child care, child welfare, pregnancy, and more. While adjusting to the realities of our new world may feel like “building the plane while flying it,” the fact is that researchers, policymakers, and providers have decades of experience and literature that can help us chart a research-informed course in the coming weeks and months.
As I leave South Carolina (and return to the UK) following a very productive three-month stay in which I presented in Columbia, Charleston, and Spartanburg to early childhood educators, students and other professionals and agencies involved in Early Childhood, I want to analyze the outcomes of these various sessions and try to find common denominators and highlight issues and challenges which have a recurring theme.
In Greenville County, the average annual income of a white individual is $59,820, a Hispanic individual is $35,794, and a black individual is $33,643. In the 2016 South Carolina Affordable Housing Study, the estimated income needed to afford a house in Greenville County was $53,633, which far surpasses the average income of black and Hispanic populations in Greenville by nearly $20,000.
I got some very useful ideas from the Colorado conference participants, including practitioners in other states who are treating these issues as health issues.