Child Care Decision-making Tool

We’re moving into the fall and while it’s clear that school is going to look very different this year, the uncertainty from COVID-19 persists. Parents are faced with making decisions about school and daycare for their children and this is not an easy task. To help, COVID Explained’s Emily Oster has partnered with Maven, the leading women’s and family digital health company, to create a free, evidence-based tool that helps parents decide whether to send their children out of the home to school or daycare, or keep them at home for virtual learning.

Many parents are anxious about making child care decisions and do not have a clear plan for the fall. New research commissioned by Maven of 1,000 US parents highlights this:

  • More than 60% of parents do not have a clear plan for the fall. This is especially true for parents with children under age five — 72% reported not having a plan.
  • Two-thirds of parents reported feeling anxious about navigating child care decisions this fall, and again this anxiety was particularly strong for parents with younger children.
  • Working parents face additional stress as nearly 60% do not feel supported by their employer as they navigate child care challenges.

This tool provides an interactive framework for parents to assess the risks, benefits, and their unique circumstances so they can make the best schooling and child care decisions for their family. And although this tool was initially created to help parents with school decisions this fall, it is likely parents will need to revisit their child care decisions as the pandemic continues to evolve — because this isn’t a one-time choice parents will have to make, this framework is useful for future decision-making.

Below we provide examples of what the tool looks like. Parents can compare the risks and benefits of in-home and out-of-home child care, and take an assessment to understand their specific needs