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Research Finds Masking Helped Prevent Childcare Program Closures

A nationwide Yale study of 6,654 center and home-based child care providers found that programs that practiced child masking early in the COVID-19 pandemic (May-June 2020) experienced a 13% reduction in program closure within the following year. Continued child masking throughout the one-year study period was associated with a 14% reduction in program closure.

The study, published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at  several safety measures, including adult and child masking, six-foot distancing, staggered arrivals and departures, and outdoor drop-off and pick-up. Child masking was the measure most associated with reduced child care closure rates, keeping children in safe learning and care environments and allowing working parents and child care providers to remain employed. This was followed by six-foot distancing of seating and cots, which was associated with a 7% reduction in the odds of COVID-19 related child care closure.  The study controlled for the degree of local COVID-19 transmission in each community.

A related Yale study released in August 2021 found that child care providers are more likely than the general adult population to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (78% versus 65%). You can read more about research Yale is conducting on topics related to child and staff health in early learning programs here.

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