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During the COVID-19 pandemic, preschool-aged children have garnered less attention than older children. The pandemic may affect preschoolers through its effects on the early childhood education (ECE) professionals who teach them. We describe the prevalence of COVID-19–associated deaths among family members and close friends of ECE professionals. These data may reflect the socioeconomic and health inequities experienced by the ECE workforce. These inequities were present before the pandemic,1,2 may have been exacerbated by it, and affect the quality of education children receive.
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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Accepted for Publication: May 25, 2021.
Published Online: August 2, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.2348
Corresponding Author: Robert C. Whitaker, MD, MPH, Bassett Medical Center, 1 Atwell Rd, Cooperstown, NY 13326 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Author Contributions: Dr Whitaker had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: Whitaker.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.
Drafting of the manuscript: Whitaker.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Statistical analysis: Whitaker, Dearth-Wesley.
Obtained funding: Whitaker.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Whitaker, Herman.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Drs Whitaker, Herman, and Dearth-Wesley reported grants from First Up (grant 210001) during the conduct of the study and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (grant 17958) outside the submitted work.
Funding/Support: This study was supported by First Up (grant 210001).
Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funder had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
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