Agenda for ‘Zero to Three: A Crash Course in Covering Child Care and Early Learning in the Pandemic’

Thursday, January 28, 2021

This agenda is tentative and subject to change. It was updated Jan. 28, 2021.

All times are EST.


Welcome (“Circle Time”)

12:30 p.m. – 12:35 p.m.

  • Caroline Hendrie, Education Writers Association

A Child Care Crisis of Pandemic Proportions

12:35 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

From cost to availability and quality, the pandemic has exacerbated the inequities that strained the child care marketplace long before COVID-19. Experts in the child care field help reporters better understand the patchwork system in the U.S., how it’s been impacted by the pandemic, and what’s needed for the fragile child care industry to recover. They also discuss how race, gender, and class are embedded in every story about child care, and offer guidance on how to write about these issues in your local community.

  • Dionne Dobbins, Child Care Aware
  • Alycia Hardy, Center for Law and Social Policy
  • Rasheed Malik, Center for American Progress
  • Megan Leonhardt, CNBC (moderator)

Recess (Break): “Who’s That Baby Journalist?” Slideshow

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Innovative Early Education Policy Models: Promising or Pipe Dreams?

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Even in the depths of the coronavirus recession, state and local governments are finding new ways to generate revenue and voter support for universal preschool, child care, and early development programs, such as an initiative backed by voters in Oregon’s Multnomah County. Early childhood policy experts discuss the sustainability of these measures and share thoughts on President-elect Joe Biden’s sprawling early education agenda.

  • Mark Holloway, Social Venture Partners
  • Angela Rachidi, American Enterprise Institute
  • Javaid Siddiqi, The Hunt Institute
  • Emily Tate, EdSurge (moderator)

Nap Time (Break)

2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

How Is COVID-19 Impacting Brain Development for Infants and Toddlers?

3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The pandemic has resulted in all kinds of stresses on families. What are the implications on brain development for infants and toddlers and on their health, well-being, and education over time? Experts share insights as well as strategies to mitigate potential negative effects.

  • Rahil Briggs, Healthy Steps
  • Jack Shonkoff, Harvard University
  • Mariana Dale, KPCC – Southern California Public Radio (moderator)

Snack Time (Break)

4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

How to Do the Child Care/Early Ed Story

4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

There are important stories to tell in every community about the coronavirus’ impact on children from 0 to 3, but many education reporters have little experience covering this domain. In this session, fellow journalists provide practical guidance on how to get started, where to turn for experts and data, and how to quickly and efficiently develop compelling coverage. Participants also break into small groups to brainstorm your next great lede.

  • Amy Feiereisel, North Country Public Radio
  • Lillian Mongeau, The Hechinger Report
  • Kavitha Cardoza, freelance journalist (moderator)

Bathroom Break (Break)

5:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Play Time: Parenting Young Children While Covering Education

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Join journalist and parent educator Katherine Reynolds Lewis for an interactive talk on how parents can manage working from home, 24-7 parenting, and their own anxiety and stress. Lewis offers daily and weekly practices for finding calm, discerning and meeting their real needs, and setting healthy boundaries. This talk covers attuning to children’s emotions, stress management strategies, and setting up routines that support a family’s values.

  • Katherine Reynolds Lewis, independent journalist and author
  • Jackie Mader, The Hechinger Report (moderator)