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Challenges faced by childcare directors during COVID-19: Leading during a global pandemic


Childcare centers have faced many stressors both during and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on stress and coping theories, this study explores how the pandemic affected childcare center practices and how center directors responded. Childcare directors were surveyed to explore their perspectives about the pandemic’s effects on teachers and staff, children and families, and the daily routines at their centers. The ramifications of masking, quarantines, and social distancing were also discussed. In addition, directors were asked how they envisioned the future for their centers, and their plans to move forward after the pandemic. Twenty-seven responses were analyzed using a content analysis approach, and the results indicated that staffing issues, increased stress levels, reduced parent involvement, and low enrollment were all prevalent themes. Some directors felt optimistic about the future, while others doubted their ability to keep their doors open to families. Many of the childcare centers felt they simply couldn’t compete with retail and restaurant businesses to increase pay and retain teachers. More optimistic directors focused on identifying resources to aid their centers to cope with the adversities experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
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