The Children’s Agenda is pleased to help lead Raising NY, a diverse statewide coalition of parent, early childhood, education, civil rights, business, and health organizations. This coalition is dedicated to increasing the number of children birth to age three who are on track for school readiness. This coalition recently commissioned a poll of families in New York State with children birth to age 3 to assess how their lives have changed since the onset of COVID-19. The findings from the poll, released today, should be alarming to anyone concerned about the well-being of young children in our community.
Parents of infants and toddlers across New York State are experiencing extraordinary financial insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic, with one in three (34%) indicating that they are skipping or reducing meals and one in ten (11%) saying they are skipping or reducing meals for their children.
Unemployment and loss of income are key concerns expressed by these parents of infants and toddlers, with one in three (34%) saying they have had their hours or pay reduced or have taken time off of work to care for children as a result of the crisis. Two-thirds say they worry about losing their jobs or having hours reduced in the future (67%) and more than half (51%) said they feel uneasy about their personal finances.
A staggering one out of four parents of young children (25%) worry about the impact of substance abuse and domestic violence on their family as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
More than 1 in 3 (38%) parents of infants and toddlers who receive Early Intervention, Early Head Start, and home visitation programs are no longer receiving those services.
The poll conducted by the polling firm Global Strategy Group, also identifies resources parents of young children overwhelmingly support. This includes support for:
Greater public investment in affordable quality child care (91% support)
Free or increased internet access (91% support)
Providing parents remote access to a child’s doctor (91% support)
Additional paid or unpaid leave during the crisis (90% support)
Young children, thankfully, appear less likely to suffer the physical effects of COVID-19. However, infants and toddlers are still among our most vulnerable citizens and are suffering greatly from the effects of this crisis. All of us, especially all levels of government, need to increase efforts to get more resources to families in need.
The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health disparities and trauma.