RELEASE: Nearly 5 Million Health Care Workers May Need Child Care in Light of School and Child Care Program Closures

This press release contains corrections.

Washington, D.C. — For weeks, schools and child care programs across the country have closed their doors in response to a dramatic increase in transmissions of coronavirus. In light of the unprecedented demands on America’s health care workforce, today, the Center for American Progress released new analysis of data from all states and Washington, D.C., on the number of frontline health care workers who have children under age 14—children who are too young to be left at home alone.

The analysis finds that 4.6 million health care workers—around 30 percent of the entire workforce—have children that are too young to be left home alone as schools and child care programs close. In 21 states, more than 30 percent of the health care workforce are parents of children younger than age 14. Further, the analysis shows that most of these nearly 5 million workers—78 percent—are women.*

“Everyone knows that health care workers on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus crisis need personal protective equipment in order to do their jobs. What this analysis shows is that nearly a third of them also need access to child care for children too young to stay at home alone,” said Cristina Novoa, senior policy analyst for Early Childhood Policy at CAP.

Please click here to read “The U.S. Coronavirus Response Must Meet Health Workers’ Child Care Needs” by Cristina Novoa and Steven Jessen-Howard.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202-741-6292.

* Correction, March 30, 2020: The indicated paragraph in this release has been updated to correct estimated values that were affected by a coding error.

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