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.


Making best use of federal child care support means strategic partnerships to build capacity

May 4, 2021 – Families

A new report from CLASP elucidates the role and extent of different federal relief funding streams that can be used to enhance child care facilities. Some resources are specific to child care (e.g., the Child Care & Development Block Grant) while others, available to states and localities as general small business and capital project funds, could also be leveraged in this way. CLASP identifies which sources can be used for renovations, technical assistance, equipment, hazard pay, and other infrastructure-supporting uses. Authors suggest partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are an especially important strategy for states and tribes to consider, given that these partnerships can open access to new funding streams, development expertise, real estate, and technical assistance. #covid-19 #education #childcare

New research links elementary school closures to reduced maternal labor force participation

March 12, 2021 – Families

An article published in Gender & Society finds that COVID-19-related school closures are associated with reduced maternal employment, concluding that schools are part of the nation’s critical care infrastructure. The authors collected operating status of schools (data not yet available publicly), linking this information to data on labor force participation from the current population survey. The authors find that in states with fully remote instruction, the gender labor force participation gap grew over the pandemic and stayed smaller in places where hybrid (like Maine) or in-person instruction was available. The authors conclude that states should continue to prioritize continuous in-person child care and schooling so parents, and especially mothers, can continue to engage in paid work. #covid-19 #education #childcare

Federal Policies Can Address the Impact of Structural Racism on Black Families’ Access to Early Care and Education

March 5, 2021 – General

This brief from Child Trends is the second in a series examining timely topics that are relevant to Black families and children in the United States. It sheds light on the role of federal policies in creating, maintaining, and addressing inequities brought about by structural racism, with a specific focus on access to early care and education for Black families. The first brief provides a brief summary of recent data and historical context on family structure, employment and income, and geography for Black people with young children in the United States. The third brief uses national, state, and local data to examine housing access and other available supports for Black families, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. #childcare #education #racialequity #covid-19

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

Women are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis. They must lead our recovery plans.

October 8, 2020 – General

The Great Recession hit male-dominated professions hard. This time around, women are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis. They must be at the forefront of our recovery. In the “she-cession” of this economic crisis, women have been laid off at higher rates than men; women hold a larger share of low-wage, front-line jobs as nurses, teachers, child-care workers and caregivers; and women bear a disproportionate burden of child-care responsibilities. In September alone, 865,000 women age 20 and older dropped out of the labor force, more than four times the number of men who exited. #covid-19 #workforce #childcare

Finding Solutions to Support Child Care during COVID-19

September 22, 2020 – General

Returning to pre-pandemic child care arrangements is not be feasible for all families. Colleagues at the University of Oregon reported that lower-income families were more uncertain than higher-income families about their ability to return to their pre-pandemic child care arrangements as the economy reopens, with almost half (48 percent) of lower-income households reporting that they either couldn’t return or were uncertain they could, compared with only a quarter of higher-income households. These data come from a survey from the University of Oregon’s Center on Translational Neuroscience. The Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development (RAPID) - Early Childhood Survey was designed to continuously gather information regarding the needs, health-promoting behaviors, and well-being of families with young children during the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. #childcare #covid-19

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