Ohio COVID-19 Child Care Study

Read the Ohio COVID-19 Child Care Study Press Release

Study Overview

Launched in July 2020, the Ohio COVID-19 Child Care Study featured a multidisciplinary team from Case Western Reserve University with the goal of better understanding how to lower the spread and lessen the impact of COVID-19 among families and staff affiliated with child care programs in the state. The team, with expertise in child health and wellbeing, environmental health, epidemiology, and infectious disease management and control, designed the rapid-response study that included (A) statewide examination of COVID-19 cases among child care staff and children attending child care and (B) in-depth analysis in 10 counties including data collection using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Study Timeline & Participants

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Incident Reporting Data were analyzed for all 88 Ohio counties from the start of the pandemic to November 13th, 2020. In-depth data within 10 counties were collected during a snapshot in time from August 15th-November 20th, 2020. Additional data will be collected from November 20-December 31, 2020 to continue monitoring the trends as community transmission of COVID-19 is rising.

Research Questions

  • What are the trends in COVID-19 transmission among child care programs operating in diverse contexts in Ohio?
  • What factors drive or limit the spread of COVID-19 in child care settings in diverse contexts in Ohio?
  • What are the perceptions of risk and safety among parents and caregivers and staff from child care programs in Ohio following their reopening after COVID-19 was declared a public health emergency?
  • What are the levels of child and caregiver stress and coping in response to COVID-19?

Key Findings from Phase 1

Conducted during timeframe of low community transmission.

  • Compliance with COVID-19 mitigation strategies is keeping child care workers and children safe.
  • The prevalence of COVID-19 in child care programs in Ohio was low.
  • COVID-19 Cases in child care are higher among staff than children.
  • Community transmission of COVID-19 influences transmission risk within child care settings.
  • Child care workers provide critical infrastructure for Ohio's economy.
  • Additional support is needed for elementary-aged children doing remote learning in child care.