Our Data on COVID-19 in Child Care Settings

Last updated July 8th 2020, 3:06:46pm

Overview and Topline

Here at COVID-Explained, we have been crowdsourcing data on COVID-19 and child care settings. We are well aware that it’s odd for this effort to fall to a website of this type. But we were frustrated that no one was doing it. We hope this will prompt more official efforts.

We are grateful for help on this from many people -- the participants, obviously, as well as winnie.com, the YMCA and the American Camp Association.

Our initial efforts focused on child care settings -- mostly with very young children -- which were open through most of the pandemic. Although that data is not updated, you can see it all here.

The primary efforts have focused on collecting ongoing tracking data on child settings -- child care, camp, schools -- which are open. This data will be tracked by week.

You can see all this data here, and browse it here. Here is a quick topline as of August 3rd. This effort is ongoing and we are hoping to expand it, so please reach out if you want to help!


We want to be up front about the limitations here. These data are crowdsourced from groups which want to contribute. Our data include reported COVID-19 cases. It would be much, much better to have universal or random sampling of centers. Even better would be to have random testing of children and staff so we could see asymptomatic cases.

It is hard to evaluate biases here, but our guess is that this somewhat understates COVID-19 cases since children without symptoms are not reported here. As we get more data, or push to more systematic sampling, we hope this will improve.

We should also note: our survey is very simple and doesn’t ask about precautions or details about the setting. There is a much larger survey expected soon out of Yale and we can’t wait to see the results! They asked many more questions like this. In the longer term, our hope is to use the tracking sample to do more of this.

How to Contribute?

A huge limitation of data like this is coverage. The more data we can get the better. How can you contribute… (You may fall in more than one category!)

I’m a larger child care setting [child care center, camp, school] and I’ve been open OR I’m reopening soon: Please consider being part of our tracking sample. Enter baseline data here.

I’m a parent or teacher and I’d love my child care setting/camp/school to be involved. Great! We have a draft email with information here.

I’m a municipality or school system and I’d love to help. Great! Email us directly: covidexplained@gmail.com