By Rachel Metz

While confirmed COVID-19 cases among children are less common than among adults, hundreds of children and youth have still contracted the disease. Of course, children and youth are also impacted when a parent, family member, teacher, or other caring adult gets sick. Their family’s economic security and their educational opportunities are also being threatened by the pandemic.

Family Economic Security

Loss of Income: More than half of Black and more than one-third of Latinx adults in households with children experienced a loss of household employment income since March 13.

Youth Unemployment: Between April and September 2020, almost 29 times as many people under the age of 22 received unemployment insurance as during the same period in 2019.

Housing Insecurity: Over one-third (37%) of DC renters with children said they have no or only slight confidence in their ability to make next month’s rent or were deferring their payment, more than double that of renters without children.

Food Insecurity: Many Black and Latinx adults in households with children report sometimes or often not having enough to eat in the last week. More than one in five (22%) of Black households said this, almost double that as all households with children (13%).

Educational Opportunities

Early Care & Education Access: DC may permanently lose more than 20% of child care slots (6,500) due to the pandemic without more dedicated public funding for early learning (Center for American Progress).

Post-Secondary Plans Cancelled: Many adults in households where at least one adult
was planning on taking classes this fall at a post high-school institution, have canceled all plans to
take classes. Of those planning to take classes, more than half of Black (52%) residents canceled their plans while 20% of Latinx and 16% of White residents did the same.

Home Device & Internet Access: While there’s been some progress since the spring semester, many students of color, including almost one out of five Black households, still don’t reliably have a device and internet connection for educational purposes, limiting their opportunities.

Out-of-School Time Cuts: At the start of the 2020 school year, DCPS cut its federal funding from 21st Century Community Learning Centers out-of-school- time (OST) programs and redirected it to establish Cares classrooms. This funding had been supporting programs for 6,716 students in 55 schools, and is a significant loss of funding for OST.

Find more information about the impacts of COVID-19 measures in our data references section.

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Rachel Metz is the Research and Data Manager of DC Action.