In 2020, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, StoryCorps recorded dozens of conversations with families across America, who shared their experiences of living during the COVID-19 pandemic. They shared their fears, hardships and inspiring stories of resilience.
While we’re all impacted by COVID-19, some families have had particularly tough realities, with limited support systems and policies that protect their health and well-being. The stories spotlight the stigma and disparities that exist in our society, and highlight the challenges families face in accessing services, such as child care and food security programs. The families also share strategies they used to overcome those barriers.
The 12 stories in the StoryCorps recording series challenge us to think about what could be possible if U.S. families had equitable access to resources and opportunity.
Child Care Providers and Families Who Access Child Care
COVID-19 has highlighted the U.S.’s significant, historical underinvestment in early care and education. Before the pandemic, the child care system was already fragile and underfunded, limiting access to many families. In addition, children of color and children from families with low-income specifically are less likely to be enrolled in high-quality early care and education programs. Child care staff are undervalued and underpaid, and female caregivers, especially women of color, are typically hurt the most because they bear the brunt of formal and informal care.