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Yale researchers found that childcare programs are not a big contributor to the spread of Covid-19

While generally, research shows that younger children face a low risk of contracting Covid-19, research focusing on childcare programs has been scarce. And through the pandemic, one worry among parents has been whether it is safe to send kids to daycare.

Recently a group of Yale Researchers  “conducted the first-ever large-scale assessment of the risk of working in child care during the COVID-19 pandemic”. According to Yale News, the findings of the study show that “child care programs that remained open throughout the pandemic did not contribute to the spread of the virus to providers”.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that exposure to child care was not associated with an elevated risk of spreading COVID-19 from children to adults, provided the child care programs took multiple safety measures — including disinfecting, handwashing, symptom screening, social distancing, mask-wearing, and limiting group size — and were located in communities where the spread of COVID-19 was contained.

For the study, Yale researchers surveyed 57,000 child care providers across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico in May and June, 2020, comparing self-reported COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations among workers whose programs stayed open and those whose programs closed. The research was done in collaboration with Child Care Aware of America.

No differences in COVID-19 outcomes were observed between workers who continued to provide in-person care for young children and those who did not. These findings suggest that child care providers assume no heightened risk from their work — assuming that workplaces keep following core health and safety practices.

The study has important Implications

Childcare has been one of the industries most heavily affected by the coronavirus crisis. In addition to the financial ails facing providers,   In addition to financial ails facing providers, there is also a knowledge gap that needs to be in order to guide decision making among stakeholders in the industry. This study is a step in that direction.

For ailing providers, who face a critical time, this study definitely provides valuable insights regarding the risk they face while operating and therefore helps them plan for the future. Additionally, this provides extra information to providers who are closed but would like to assess whether they can feasibly open. The same thing with parents; they get more information to assess the riskiness of sending their kids to childcare. In short, this study helps stakeholders cut through the fear-mongering that has run rampant through the pandemic, and therefore ensures sound decision making.

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