Promoting Equity through the Pandemic How COVID-19 Stabilization Grants Offered States Opportunities to Innovate

April 2023 | Tags: COVID19, Grants and Contracts, Illinois


In April 2023, the CELFE team presented to policymakers, researchers, higher education faculty, and advocates at the Early Childhood Education Workforce Convening, hosted by the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood National Center on how equity informed state’s COVID-19 stabilization strategies. Participants learned how funding-relief strategies employed during the pandemic addressed the crisis in ECEC resulting from the pandemic while at the same time initiated a more equitable ECE approach to improve access for families, incent higher program quality, and develop a stronger workforce.

In this session, CELFE reviewed our multi-state study that analyzed strategies implemented using COVID-19 stabilization funds. The study, encompassing a 50-state scan and interviews, aimed to understand states' use of stabilization funds, focusing on the administration and allocation of funds to address workforce compensation, data-driven strategies, equity in fund distribution, impact and effectiveness of these strategies, real-time learnings for future COVID relief funds, and the overall outcomes of these efforts.


  • Theresa Hawley, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Early Learning Funding Equity
  • Serah Fatani, Senior Fellow, Center for Early Learning Funding Equity
  • Maya Portillo, Policy Associate, Center for Early Learning Funding Equity
  • Sophie Johnson, Summer Fellow, Center for Early Learning Funding Equity