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From October 2020 - March 2021, AMPLIFY Girls, undertook a multi-country qualitative research study to ask girls why they were dropping out of school and their recommendations to get young women back to school and back on track.The results are painful but important.At the highest level, our findings suggest that pregnancy is the primary driver of girls' dropout from school during the pandemic, but that pregnancy is a symptom of underlying, acute, economic vulnerabilities and is augmented by situations of social and physical isolation that are often mutually reinforcing. The overwhelming majority of FGD participants cited transactional sex for basic goods (such as food, clothing, and menstrual hygiene products) as the primary cause of unintended pregnancies in their communities. Accordingly, we found that economic precarity leading to transactional sex and unintended pregnancies was the most common pathway leading to girls' dropout. Our research also suggests that the social stigma surrounding teen pregnancy and motherhood is the single biggest factor keeping girls from returning to school post-pandemic.AMPLIFY Girls has recommendations for the world. They center around community-driven organizations and the incredible work they are doing in communities for girls and their families.
Center on Poverty & Social Policy (CPSP);
This report leverages data from the Early Childhood Poverty Tracker (see text box for a more detailed description), a Columbia University and Robin Hood study of more than 1,500 parents of young children in New York City, to provide a window into how families – especially low-income parents – managed their child care needs before the onset of the pandemic and what happens when families experience disruptions in their child care.PART I of this report focuses on accessibility and affordability of child care in New York City before the pandemic, specifically discussing what types of child care families used, including center-based, home-based, and informal care, and how they afforded that care.PART II explores both the extent and the economic cost of child care disruptions for New Yorkers, including an analysis of disruptions during the pandemic. To analyze the costs and impacts of disruptions, both to families and to the economy overall, the report replicates similar studies conducted in Maryland and Louisiana, which found that both states lost over $1 billion in a given year from parental absence and turnover due to child care disruptions. While the data we use for this analysis were collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can only expect that the impacts documented here were exacerbated due to the disruptions of daily life brought about by COVID-19.Together, these findings highlight the difficult trade-offs between access, quality, and affordability for families of young children, as well as the economic implications of disruptions to child care. This report can inform policymakers and practitioners as they lay the groundwork for reopening the city's centers and reimagine a better, more inclusive, and more accessible system.
Columbia University Center for Public Research and Leadership;
The COVID-19 pandemic caused enormous disruptions to PK-12 school systems, including long-held beliefs about teaching and learning. After several months of unexpected virtual and hybrid learning, some school systems have emerged with a new understanding of the instructional core. Commonly thought of as the relationships between teacher, student, and instructional materials that support student learning, these leaders have expanded their understanding of the instructional core to include families.We conducted nearly 300 interviews with students, families, and educators from nine school districts and charter school organizations to learn more about the expanded instructional core. In "Fundamental 4," we share four lessons key to sustaining the expanded core. These lessons are:Expand the required dimensions of "high-quality" instructional materials to be educative for families, tech-enabled, and culturally responsiveLeverage high-quality instructional materials to coordinate academic co-production among the four anchors of the expanded coreSustain curriculum-based professional learning focused on the expanded core, with an explicit focus on implementing high-quality instructional materials in ways that respond to student, family, and community needsCreate systems and structures for families, teachers, and students to design, monitor, and improve upon learning experiences
This report provides a portrait of Black men as active contributors to the care economy—discussing what they do, how they experience care work, the barriers that make it difficult to provide care, and recommendations for supportive policies. This report also assesses the similarities and differences between Black and white men who are High-Intensity Caregivers and/or Parents (HICP)—and between Black and white fathers. Based on the findings of a nationally representative survey, this study finds that few differences exist between Black and white men as it pertains to how they value and fulfill their caregiving and/or parenting responsibilities. In the context of parenting, this finding adds to the growing body of research and evidence that is helping to dispel the harmful myth of the "absent Black father," an idea perpetuated by structural racism and white supremacy. Such stereotypes have historically been used to wrongly attribute socioeconomic inequities to the perceived shortcomings of Black men, rather than to systemically racist policies that undermine Black men's ability to raise their children and take care of loved ones.
This report presents the findings of a nationally representative, probability-based telephone survey of more than 1,000 parents of children ages three to 13, all with household incomes below the national median for families in the United States (i.e., $75,000). The survey was conducted in March and April of 2021: one year into the pandemic, and a crucial turning point. Parents could reflect on a full year of remote learning and pandemic parenting, and also look forward—thanks to the proliferation of vaccines—to their children's full and safe return to in-person schooling in the fall. But this survey goes beyond documenting families' challenges. We also uncover what parents feel they have learned through this pandemic year, from increased confidence in their ability to help their child with schoolwork to greater comfort communicating with teachers and developing a deeper understanding of their child's learning patterns. And we look ahead to the next school year, delving into what parents think schools' priorities should be for smoothing their children's transitions to, or back into, the classroom in the fall of 2021.
To bolster census education and outreach efforts to families with young children in LA County, a group of 8 funders joined forces and pooled nearly $1 million to create the Early Childhood Census 2020 Fund (ECCF) in the summer of 2019. Although a commitment to census outreach efforts and investment was underway at a broader state and county level, ECCF drew attention to the need to have a separate, more concerted approach to focusing on the hardest-to-count population. 12 organizations received ECCF grants. These organizations ranged in size, population served, geography, and services in healthcare, education, social services, faith-based, and community organizing. ECCF's target population and the implementation of peer learning sessions aimed to foster connections and strengthen relationships across grantees. Two virtual learning sessions created space for grantees to share strategies for reaching families with young children, ask questions, and discuss challenges. The following summary provides key highlights from an evaluation of ECCF conducted by Engage R+D. Learnings from this evaluation are based on interviews with the grantees and managing funders as well the review of grant reports and observations of funder meetings.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation launched its Family-Centered Community Change (FCCC) initiative with a goal of integrating two-generation strategies into existing place-based community initiatives. The innovative effort, which ran from 2012 to 2019, focused on supporting local partners in three neighborhoods with low economic resources: Buffalo, New York; Columbus, Ohio; and San Antonio, Texas.Over the course of the initiative, the sites worked to promote the healthy development and academic success of children while simultaneously delivering adult services focused on parenting and financial stability. In year three, the community partners also received training and technical assistance — provided by the Casey Foundation — aimed at enhancing racial and ethnic equity and inclusion.The Urban Institute conducted a formative evaluation of this effort, which included: 1) qualitative data collection from interviews and focus groups with partner staff and participants; 2) descriptive analysis of program data; and 3) a cost study.
RRF Foundation for Aging;
We are pleased to introduce RRF's second issue brief in a series of publications describing the foundation's approach to grantmaking and improving the quality of life of older people. Investing in Caregivers: An Essential Resource for Our Nation provides an overview of the key issues around caregiver support, describes some of the work the foundation is funding to address these issues, and invites others to join us in developing the next generation of solutions to address this increasingly important issue.More than 53 million people—one in five of us in the U.S.—are family caregivers who provide essential support to older adults who can no longer live independently. Estimates suggest that the care they provide is worth nearly half a trillion dollars, an economic contribution significantly greater than all government outlays for institutional and community-based long-term services and support (LTSS) combined. This makes caregivers the nation's largest healthcare workforce, an indispensable part of the health and social service delivery system for older adults and a vital resource for the nation.Read our latest issue brief to learn more about the strategies RRF is investing in and the innovative work of our grantees in this critical area.Click "Download" to access this resource.
Brighter Bites started out the year excited about our program's expansion and growth to our seventh market, Salinas, California; then the pandemic changed everything. Many Brighter Bites families who were so reliant on our program for weekly free, fresh produce and nutrition education resources were suddenly unable to engage with us due to quarantines and school closures. We did not allow barriers to stop us, we adjusted, we innovated, and we found ground-breaking ways to continue to accomplish our mission to create communities of health through fresh food. In the midst of adversity in 2020, Brighter Bites served the highest number of families ever, distributed the most produce ever, and had the farthest nutrition education reach ever.
This analysis looked at the impact of Student Parent Help Center services on undergraduate student parents' academic outcomes.Results from this analysis suggest that undergraduate student parents who interact with the Student Parent Help Center staff and access its referrals and programs are significantly more likely to graduate, remain enrolled each semester, and have a higher cumulative GPA than student parents who completed a SPHC intake but never used these services.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation;
The economic value women bring to their own households and to the broader economy is well-documented. In fact, nearly all of the economic gains that have occurred among middle class families since 1970 have come from the increased earnings of women. Mothers make substantial contributions to the finances of many families and households. In 2018, nearly half of the more than 30 million families with children under 18 in the United States had either a single mother or a married mother contributing at least 40% of a couple's joint earnings.Despite the importance of mothers' economic contributions, the broader economy fails to support mothers in a variety of ways. The costs of raising children fall largely on families – and disproportionately on mothers. In addition to the lack of support for combining careers with caregiving, mothers face a motherhood wage penalty, which accounts for much of the gender wage gap. Even entrepreneurship, an economic activity that can potentially offer more autonomy and flexibility, is made more difficult for mothers by child care challenges and barriers to entrepreneurship for women more broadly.Why is motherhood undervalued and unsupported economically?What does entrepreneurship support mean for entrepreneurs who are mothers? And how can we support mothers' access to opportunities to engage in the economy – and ease their access to opportunity through entrepreneurship?
When it comes to summer—particularly a summer that follows a year of pandemic-induced isolation—parents have three priorities for what they want summer programming to address for their children: their social and emotional health, providing them with physical outdoor activities and helping them discover their passion and purpose.A new, national survey by Arlington, VA-based market research firm Edge Research, in conjunction with Learning Heroes, a nonprofit dedicated to elevating the voice of parents in education, was commissioned by Wallace to explore the unique, differentiated role out-of-school time (OST) programs play in youth development compared with home and school, how parents assess quality in OST programs and the impact of COVID-19 for summer 2021—and beyond.Findings revealed substantial worries among parents about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many feeling their children are struggling academically, socially and emotionally: 40 percent worried that children were missing out on social connections and friendship; 32 percent about too much screen time; and 26 percent about falling behind academically. Similar concerns were voiced among teachers and OST providers, with teachers most worried about students falling behind academically (39 percent) and OST providers most worried about emotional well-being (26 percent).