Emily Oster & Maven's New Child care Decision Tool

Free, evidence-based guidance for deciding whether to send kids out of the home

While it’s clear that school is going to look very different this year, the uncertainty from COVID persists, and making decisions about school and daycare for their children is not an easy task for any parent. To help, COVID Explained’s Emily Oster has partnered with Maven, the leading women’s and family digital health company, to create a free, evidence-based tool that helps parents decide whether to send their children out of the home to school or daycare, or keep them at home for virtual learning. 

Many parents are anxious about making child care decisions and do not have a clear plan for the fall. New research, commissioned by Maven, on 1,000 US parents highlights this:

  • More than 60% of parents do not have a clear plan for the fall. This is especially true for parents with children under age five — 72% reported not having a plan. 

  • Two-thirds of parents reported feeling anxious about navigating child care decisions this fall, and again this anxiety was particularly strong for parents with younger children. 

  • Working parents face additional stress as nearly 60% do not feel supported by their employers as they navigate child care challenges. 

This tool provides an interactive framework for parents to assess the risks, benefits, and their unique circumstances so they can make the best schooling and child care decisions for their family. And although this tool was initially created to help parents with school decisions this fall, it is likely parents will need to revisit their child care decisions as the pandemic continues to evolve — because this isn’t a one-time choice parents will have to make, this framework is also useful for future decision-making. 

  1. Explore your options (here you’re given a screen with the general risks and benefits of in-home vs out-of-home child care)

  2. Assess your needs (the part when you take a short assessment of your preferences and your children’s needs)

  3. Get support (where you’re provided resources for finding child care, current research and school guidelines, and more!)

Below, we provide examples of what the tool looks like:

Please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns — you can get a hold of us via email, TwitterInstagram, and the site itself.