Corona pandemic in the United States shapes new normal for young children and their families

W. Steven Barnett, Rolf Grafwallner, Georgenne G. Weisenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic tremendously disrupted ECE in the U.S., closing many private programs and nearly all public preschool and primary classrooms. To understand this impact, we used multiple strategies, including a nationwide survey of parents; a review of state policies, guidance and resource documents; and scans of media coverage to obtain information on how the pandemic has shaped policy and the ECE experiences of young children and their families across the U.S. beginning in the spring and continuing through the fall of 2020. Our findings suggest that the pandemic has highlighted already existing problems in the fragmented ECE system. Pandemic-related problems may give rise to greater support for better integrated systems and consolidation in the public sector but might also lead to support for an expanded private sector role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-124
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


  • COVID-19
  • United States
  • early learning
  • preschool
  • remote learning


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