As 2020 comes to a close, I imagine most of us will be eager to leave this year behind us and to reflect on what we have learned during this strange and difficult year. With vaccines rolling out, we now can look ahead with hope to a time when schools and workplaces can safely reopen and masks will be a memory. But I believe we will feel the reverberations of this year and the way it has exposed inequity across our society – and the need for meaningful change – for years to come.
If there is a silver lining for the early childhood field, it is the way that child care was thrust center stage as an essential need. And we are already seeing attempts to use that momentum to push for stronger systems and policies to finally address the longstanding need for comprehensive early childhood services for families. Nationally, the incoming Biden Administration released a Caring Economy plan and in California, there is a new Masterplan for Early Learning and Care, of which our team’s own Catherine Atkin is a co-author.
Throughout this year, I was humbled by the resilience and brilliance of our partners, from centers and home visiting programs who found a way to carry on services and support; to family, friend, and neighbor and family child care home providers who brought comfort and relief to families with young children across the country, all while working through their own personal challenges this year.
At the Early Learning Lab, we are heading into the New Year with new initiatives launching soon to support families, providers, and early childhood organizations do what they do best. I wish everyone the opportunity to rest over the holidays, and I look forward to continuing to work with you to support children and families in 2021.