Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.


Effects of expanding equitable access to pre-kindergarten in Chicago carry into elementary school

June 21, 2021 – Young Children

New research from the University of Chicago continues a line of work evaluating policies implemented in the Chicago Public School System in 2013-2014 to enhance pre-kindergarten access. Specifically, the district increased the number of full-day pre-k slots available within schools and intentionally placed those newly created slots in neighborhoods with high shares of Black and low-income children—both of whom had historically low rates of pre-k enrollment. Earlier work confirmed the policies increased equitable access and enrollment, but the new research found this enhanced access also strengthened students’ academic outcomes in elementary school. #education #racialequity

The number of home-based early care and education providers decreased from 2012 to 2019

June 9, 2021 – Families, Young Children

The Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) recently released a chartbook with findings from the 2012 and 2019 National Survey of Early Care and Education. These data allow for a nationally representative look at listed, unlisted paid, and unlisted unpaid homebased early care and education providers in the United States. A main finding includes that the number of providers nationwide decreased from 2012 to 2019. This decline was driven in part by a 25 percent drop in the number of listed home-based providers over this period. #childcare #education

N.H. announces plan to combat pandemic-era learning losses, prioritizes broadband access in rural areas

June 8, 2021 – Young Children

The New Hampshire Department of Education received $350 million from the American Rescue Plan to be allocated towards local schools and education needs. The NH DOE distributed 90 percent of these funds to school districts based on population size and poverty levels. The state has discretionary power over the remaining 10 percent ($35 million). The NH DOE’s plan for these discretionary funds is to help students get back on track after any learning losses from this past year. #covid-19 #education #rural

Pandemic-related stress felt by moms can trickle down to their kids

May 27, 2021 – Families, Young Children

Data from the Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development – Early Childhood revealed that widespread job loss and increased emotional strain has impacted mothers and young children. On top of job loss, mothers have experienced higher levels of anxiety, depression, stress, and loneliness that has influenced their children’s levels of emotional distress, leading to anxiety, fear, and worry among young children. All of this has been compounded by caregivers having a lower capacity to reduce their children’s stress levels or protect them from distress. Despite these findings, unemployed mothers were still able to care for children with the help of aid, such as unemployment insurance and stimulus payments. #covid-19 #workforce #racialequity #mentalhealth

How COVID Relief Funds Can Support Head Start Parents

May 26, 2021 – Families, Young Children

A Spotlight Exclusive suggests the time is right for Head Start to focus on parents’ economic mobility with “equal intensity” as it directs toward its child development goals. The authors suggest that specialized staff training can increase staff comfort with setting goals relevant to parent mobility, instead of just child development. Pointing to evidence-based workforce development programs, the authors note that intensive education and career service options for parents should be sustained and intensive. They also acknowledge that weaving these offerings more strongly into existing Head Start settings will be difficult but suggest recent federal investments in Head Start provide unprecedented opportunities to support truly two-generation outcomes. #education #workforce #2-Gen

Students, particularly students of color, are falling behind in school

December 6, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

In early December, a surge of new data and research on student performance became available and the findings are consistently bleak. A national study from McKinsey & Co. estimated that pandemic-related disruptions and remote work in spring 2020 set students of color back three to five months and white students back one to three months in school material. More currently, many school districts have released data showing a sharp increase in failure rates this fall. The spike in failure rates tends to be much higher for students of color and also among English language learners and students in special education programs. All this evidence suggests that learning losses that began in the spring are continuing this fall and disproportionately impacting disadvantaged students. #covid-19 #education #racialequity

New Hampshire public school enrollment decreased in the 2020-2021 school year

November 23, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

New data from the New Hampshire Department of Education reveals changes in public school enrollment during the pandemic. While the state has been typically seeing a one percent decrease in enrollment each year, enrollment in the fall of the 2020-2021 school year had decreased by four percent. Much of this decrease is likely due to families choosing homeschooling or private schoolsover public school given pandemic related uncertainties. However, there was notable variation across the state. Concord, Manchester, and Nashua school districts all reported declines of 4-6 percent and while some more northern recreational areas reported massive spikes in enrollment (such as in Waterville Valley with a 200 percent increase). These enrollment increases are largely driven by families relocating to historically seasonal homes during the pandemic. Since state education funding is tied to the number of enrolled students, these changes—and how fleeting or enduring they are—add confusion to school district budgeting. #covid-19 #education

Playspace equity is an area ripe for rural philanthropy, nonprofits

November 20, 2020 – Young Children

Neighborhood playgrounds are community assets that promote health and wellbeing as well as connection between residents. Rural areas can face barriers to playspaces such as physical distance and a limited local tax base. Given constraints on local governments, philanthropies and nonprofits have been successful in stepping in to create playspaces. For example, the nonprofit KABOOM! has engaged with communities over the last two decades to expand playspace access for around 11 million children. #rural

New Hampshire reports spike in number of children awaiting psychiatric services

November 19, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The State of New Hampshire’s Office of the Child Advocate reports a substantial increase in children needing emergency mental health care during the pandemic. In the first few months of 2020 before the pandemic hit, the daily count of people under 18 years old in emergency rooms awaiting acute psychiatric care was less than 15. In fall 2020, the daily count rose to a ‘historic’ 30+ kids. Although an inadequate number of psychiatric beds in the state is contributing to the backlog, one of the best ways to address this challenge is through bolstering prevention mental health services for children to avoid a crisis warranting emergency care. #covid-19 #mentalhealth

For early childhood educators, financial support is key to facilitating participation in professional development

November 4, 2020 – Young Children

New research explores the facilitators and barriers to participation in professional development opportunities by early care and education professionals. The majority of center-based (88 percent) and home-based (80 percent) teachers and caregivers reported having participated in a professional development workshop in the past year. However, much smaller shares (around one-third) had taken college courses or participated in coaching. Receiving financial support was the factor most consistently associated with participating in professional development for both center-based and home-based workers. States can encourage participation in professional development by increasing financial support and facilitating access to free or low-cost training opportunities. #education #childcare

Childhood exposure to the EITC associated with better health in young adulthood

October 20, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

A new study in the Journal of Public Economics evaluates the long-term impact of exposure to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from ages 0-18 on health outcomes of young adults ages 22-27. Researchers used data from the 1968- 2017 Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative household survey that has followed a group of households and their descendants since 1968. The authors measure EITC exposure as the maximum federal and state credit a family could receive based on their state, family size, and the year. They choose to model the effects of being “exposed to” the EITC (rather than actual amount received) so as to preserve the models’ ability to separate the EITC’s effects from family income (since the two measures would be too closely related to be included in a single model). Findings suggest the availability of the EITC during childhood was associated with higher self-reported health and lower obesity among young adults.

Most federal spending on children in 2019 came from tax provisions and health programs

October 9, 2020 – Young Children

A new fact sheet from the Urban Institute details federal government spending on children in 2019. The program benefiting children with the highest federal expenditures was the Child Tax Credit at $118 billion in 2019. Although tax provisions are typically associated with adults, authors find that 40 percent of all federal spending on children was from tax provisions. Besides the Child Tax Credit, other key tax provisions that benefit children include the Earned Income Tax Credit (at $59 billion) and the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored insurance (at $24 billion). The program with the second-highest federal expenditures on children in 2019 was Medicaid at $98 billion. Other health programs were also sources of significant spending on kids, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at $17 billion.