Continuing the Tightrope Walk: The Continued Impact of COVID-19 on South Carolina’s Child Care Sector

Publication Summary:

Child care providers in South Carolina continue to struggle to make ends meet as the COVID-19 public health emergency has continued. This report details that providers continue to serve fewer children than previously, face significant revenue reductions which threaten their long-term stability, as well as struggle to access supplies necessary for their operations.

The survey used word-of-mouth and outreach networks to contact potential respondents, as well as outreach directly through Facebook private message for those in under-represented counties whose presence could be verified online. Despite this, the survey had just 62 respondents, lower than the 98 respondents in the spring survey and a small enough sample that caution must be used in drawing broad conclusions. Early childhood providers are a difficult demographic to reach for research. A recent brief published by the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) finds that “center directors and teaching staff have limited ability to participate in data collection activities because of time pressures and the immediacy of issues that arise in providing care to young children.”[i] Qualitative reports in South Carolina and other states suggest that the COVID-19 crisis has only exacerbated these challenges and time pressures, creating additional barriers to data collection. Because a diverse set of voices regarding the realities of child care is essential to understanding impacts, numerous attempts were made to increase the take-up rate of this survey, including social media and direct message outreach.

Author(s): ICS
Publication Date: December 2020
Publication Type: Policy Brief
Publication Topic: Early Learning & Care
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