Research Reports

Parent and Child Care Provider Experiences During COVID-19*

Throughout the pandemic, Illinois Action for Children and our partners have interviewed or surveyed hundreds of parents and thousands of child care providers in Cook County and the rest of Illinois. We captured their experiences navigating the pandemic and managing their child care programs in various reports that you can find here.

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COVID-19 Relief to the Child Care Industry: Perspectives from Child Care Directors and Owners Seeking Support (2023)

This report discusses child care program directors’ and owners’ experiences with three COVID-19 government assistance programs. Data comes from interviews with 76 licensed child care providers in two regions of Illinois that were conducted during the first year of the pandemic. Providers’ insights about their experiences learning about and accessing assistance during this time of crisis can help inform government policies in a post-pandemic context.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Child Care Programming and Practices (2022)

The COVID-19 pandemic created new challenges and exacerbated existing ones in the child care sector. This report discusses child care program directors’ and owners’ experiences with implementing special health and safety regulations during the pandemic. Data comes from interviews with 76 licensed child care program directors and owners in two regions of Illinois during the first year of the pandemic to learn about their experiences managing their programs amid change and uncertainty.

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Report on Child Care in Cook County during the COVID-19 Pandemic (2021)

This COVID-19 edition of our annual Report on Child Care in Cook County documents the experiences of child care providers and families during the first year and a half of the pandemic (March 2020 through June 2021). It captures both the challenges and successes of keeping the child care system intact and families’ needs met during a period of great uncertainty.

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Executive Summary

In the Voices of Parents: Mothers Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a life-changing impact on many families. The Illinois Action for Children Research team, in partnership with the IAFC Referral and Outreach team, followed parents as they navigated financial hardships, lack of child care and other resources, and their overall well-being throughout the pandemic.

Part one

In the Spring of 2020, the team conducted phone surveys with 144 parents, capturing the experiences of parents a few months into the pandemic.

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Part two

In the Fall of 2020, the team conducted in-depth interviews with a subset of the parents from Part I – 26 mothers – to learn how they were faring four to five months later.

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Part three

In the Spring of 2021, the team conducted captures the experiences and perspectives of the same subset of mothers a full year into the pandemic.

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