Girl standing in front of rows of books.

Save the Children Statement on Back To School Across America

“Any Return to In-Person Instruction Must Only Happen If It is Safe for Both Children and the Adults Who Care for Them to Come Together”

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (July 20, 2020) – As a national leader in early childhood education, Save the Children knows the immense benefits of an in-person school setting for children in their earliest years. In fact, we advocate for increased access to high quality, center-based programs for children from birth to age 5, before kindergarten begins. However, in the time of COVID-19, a  global health pandemic that’s ravaging America, Save the Children strongly believes that any return to in-person instruction must only happen if it is safe for both children and the adults who care for them to come together.

We believe that decisions about re-openings should be made at the community level, not issued in top-down fashion. This spring and summer have shown us that COVID-19 has different impacts on different communities at different times. We must trust local school districts to make decisions that are in the best interest of children, teachers, food service staff, bus drivers, administrators, parents, caregivers and all those who play a significant role in the daily operations of a child care program, Head Start center and school. With cash-strapped schools and child care centers already struggling, it’s essential that supplemental funding is provided by the federal government to ensure they can open as safely as possible, with all necessary precautions in place as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Save the Children will continue to support and supplement learning – whether it takes place in-person, virtually or in a hybrid model, in the nation’s most rural communities. The coronavirus pandemic uncovered the challenging reality that some 30 million children across the nation rely on meals served at school, which is why we’ve augmented our programs this spring and will continue to be on the front lines to ensure children are receiving nutritious meals whether in a school building or at home.

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we've been advocating for the rights of children worldwide. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming the future we share. Our results, financial statements and charity ratings reaffirm that Save the Children is a charity you can trust. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


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