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Alabama Families’ Experience with Child Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Alabama Partnership for Children (APC) presented a survey to the public in May 2020, allowing working Alabama families to share their concerns about their child care experiences during the pandemic. With the assistance of many child care and workforce partner agencies, over 500 responses were collected and used to assess working families' child care needs. The findings provide guidance for Alabama's leaders about what is needed for child care programs to open back up safely, families' needs, and concerns about returning to work and child care.

Key Findings from the Online Survey:

Only 11% of families surveyed used home-based child care before the pandemic. Now, 40% report that home-based child care is the only type of care they are comfortable using now.

Lower-income families report less frequently that someone in the household can provide child care during the pandemic.

Families across income levels have two primary concerns about child care and the pandemic: the spread of COVID-19 in child care and their children missing critical developmental opportunities.

  • Brief #1 explains how child care and COVID-19 disproportionately affect lower-income families in Alabama.

  • Many families expressed a preference for home-based child care during the pandemic. Brief #2 shows how family preferences might have changed due to COVID-19.

  • Brief #3 shows findings of where and how families get information for concerns about their children concerning the coronavirus.

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