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.


Employed single mothers in single-adult households struggle with simultaneously working remotely and caring for children

October 9, 2020 – Families

New research in the Journal of Family Issues explores how single mothers are navigating work and parenthood during the pandemic. It is important to note that the online survey (conducted June 1-30, 2020) yielded a non-representative sample of women mostly from the U.S. and Canada, of which 86 percent were white and the majority had at least a bachelors’ degree. The majority (83.7 percent) of respondents were employed before the pandemic, and 16 percent experienced some COVID-related employment change. Single mothers in single-adult households were more likely to report reduced work productivity and a desire for reduced hours than their counterparts who lived with at least one other adult (most often, their parents or other relatives). The authors conclude this gap is due to the additional child care supports available to mothers in multi-adult households. #covid-19 #childcare

Policies and investments to support child care options for families with young children

September 22, 2020 – Families

The University of Oregon has been conducting a national survey—called the Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development (RAPID)-Early Childhood Survey—regarding the well-being of families with young children during the pandemic. Survey data collected from mid-May to early June show significant changes in the types of child care utilized by families before and during the pandemic. In particular, the share of families with young children using center-based care fell from 46 percent before the pandemic to just 7 percent at the time of survey completion (during the pandemic). Conversely, the share of parents/guardians performing child care duties increased from around 30 percent to over 70 percent by the summer. Urban Institute researchers on the project note that home-based care programs are gaining interest but need support. Authors propose policy options for supporting families’ access to child care including helping families pay for care (such as through the Child Care and Development Fund system), ensuring child care subsidies can apply to a range of child care settings (especially included home-based care), and investing in child care options across settings. #covid-19 #childcare

A List of COVID-19 Child Care Surveys and Data Analyses

September 11, 2020 – General

Many national, state, and local agencies and organizations are conducting surveys to better understand the needs of families and child care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Urban Institute compiled those surveys, as well as survey findings and data analyses, in this list and will update it periodically with new information and resources for program administrators and researchers interested in learning about the needs of child care providers and families during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. #childcare #covid-19

New report estimates pandemic effects on child care costs by state

September 3, 2020 – Young Children, Families

A new report from the Center for American Progress estimates the “true cost” of providing child care in the pandemic and compares it to pre-pandemic levels in each state. The report finds that the cost of center-based child care has increased by an average of 47% in the pandemic, largely due to high staff costs and increased sanitization requirements. Staff costs have remained level despite fewer children enrolled because most centers now require dedicated staff in each classroom, along with new health checks and drop-off procedures that require more staff time. Increases in Maine are relatively low compared to the national average, at just 19%. #covid-19 #childcare

Chicago Public Schools aim to support families with free child care

August 31, 2020 – Young Children, Families

The Chicago Sun Times reports that the Chicago Public School System is surveying families to identify specific family needs as they plan supervised dropoff sites for online learning. The city notes that it will prioritize care for younger children, children from low-income communities, and families in transitional housing situations, and will provide meals and internet access to participants. #covid-19 #childcare

Young children with disabilities must be considered in post-pandemic rebuilding of early care and education systems

August 6, 2020 – Young Children

Child Trends published a fact sheet about children under 6 years old with disabilities that also considers the intersection of disability with race and ethnicity. The motivation behind this work was to inform early child care and education systems supporting these children and their families in a post-COVID world. COVID-19 has impacted the already sometimes limited availability of important services and supports for children with disabilities, including limited access to accommodations and adapted materials, loss of in-person therapy services, social isolation, and loss of health insurance coverage in the case of newly-unemployed parents or guardians. #covid-19 #childcare #racialequity

Meeting the School-Age Child Care Needs of Working Parents Facing COVID-19 Distance Learning

July 24, 2020 – General

As schools announce plans for full or partial distance learning to respond to COVID-19, working parents with school-age children are faced with the challenge of how to ensure that their children are in a safe learning setting while they work—a challenge that is even more daunting for families with low incomes, families who face greater health risks, and families who face inequities in access to educational and health resources as well as employment options. Unfortunately, these challenges are even greater because the pandemic has seriously constrained before- and after-school programs along with the center-based and home-based child care settings that usually provide after-school and child care supports to working parents. This working paper provides an overview of the key challenges and lists policy strategies that could support these families and caregivers, in the areas of cross-system coordination and collaboration, funding, child care subsidies and the Child Care and Development Fund, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, child care licensing, grants, training and technical assistance, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. #covid-19 #childcare

Identifying challenges and supports for working parents of school-aged children

July 20, 2020 – Young Children, Families

An Urban Institute working paper summarizes the challenges working parents face in ensuring a safe learning setting for their school-aged children in fall. Specifically, partially or fully remote schooling comes as the pandemic has shrunk the supply of before- and after-school programming and traditional childcare slots, and reduced usual sources of back-up care (e.g., informal grandparent care) who may be jeopardized for health reasons. As such, parents are facing a major challenge. Care and supervision needs among school-aged children will be elevated by two-to-three times over usual levels, depending on the distance learning plan in place, and will require new efforts to address. The authors suggest focusing on priority populations (e.g., families at elevated risk of COVID19 or who are essential workers working outside the home) and encourage cross-sector support efforts. These efforts might include assessing family needs, connecting schools with caregivers for support, coordinating data collection, blending funding across sectors, and identifying ways to continue services for students. #covid-19 #childcare #education #workforce

Guide for child care professionals navigating new unemployment programs

May 6, 2020 – Families

The Center for Law and Social Policy has created a guide for child care stakeholders navigating unemployment compensation during the pandemic. The guide explains new pandemic unemployment insurance (UI) programs that provide compensation for many child care workers who previously did not qualify for benefits, such as those who are self-employed or work part-time. The document also covers the limitations and challenges of accessing unemployment programs. Recommendations for federal and state policy actions are also included, such as expanding UI eligibility, increasing maximum duration and amount of benefits, and clarifying the process for home-based providers. #covid-19 #workforce #childcare

Lawmakers propose $100 billion to support the child care system now, going forward

May 6, 2020 – Families

Representative Katherine Clark (D-Mass) and other House Democrats are seeking a $100 billion child care package to both support the sector during the pandemic and also invest in a robust, long-term future. $50 billion would be allocated towards keeping child care providers and their employees afloat during the pandemic, while the other $50 billion would invest in additional infrastructure, increase funding for training and education, and increasing wages of child care workers. #covid-19 #childcare

New factsheet details how to allocate $50 billion in federal child care aid to states

May 5, 2020 – Families

The Center for Law and Social Policy developed a factsheet summarizing how a federal appropriation of $50 billion to the child care industry could be distributed to each state. This figure of $50 billion in federal aid is from previous analysis that found that the child care system needs at least $9.6 billion each month during the pandemic. The estimates in the factsheet are based on a system of distributing these funds through the Child Care and Development Block Grant state allocation formula. The estimated state allocation for Maine would be $157,235,851 (see factsheet for all state estimates). #covid-19 #childcare

First Responders’ Needs Mean Tough Choices for Childcare Providers

April 23, 2020 – Families

A new article from Spotlight on Poverty summarizes the challenges that child care providers face in remaining open to serve other essential workers. Specifically, the low-paid workforce, who often lack health insurance, are caught between needing a paycheck and fear of infection. At least one state—North Carolina—is paying childcare workers a $300 bonus (less for non-teachers and part-time staff) to remain open, but providers in several states note that even if staff choose to work, a lack of cleaning supplies prevents providers from sanitizing effectively. Finally, closures and reduced operating capacities (including the patchwork of emergency systems in response to the pandemic across states) are producing funding gaps so large that many providers may be unable to recover. #covid-19 #childcare