Child Policy during COVID-19 Database

Image text reads CPC-19 database in caps. Text is white and appears on a blue background.

COVID-19 challenged and tested the response capacities and policy resources of countries across the globe. The need for information and intelligence on what countries did is pressing. This is especially the case for policy on protecting children and families, a vital area with many gaps in the existing information. This project aims to fill these gaps and provide the research and policy community with the evidence to answer questions about how responsive policy was and what lessons can be learned about how to resource and protect children and their families as the world changes.

The data collection, which has been constructed and curated by a team at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford, with the support of UNICEF Innocenti - Global Office of Research and Foresight, presents the key policy features and details of measures in six fields of policy: income support, education, early education and childcare, food support, parental leave, and health-related measures. It has been designed as a ‘one stop shop’ on the social policy measures adopted by 40 (mainly high-income) countries specifically to protect children and their families during the 9 months between March and December 2020.

Providing information on policies implemented to protect children and their families during the height of the pandemic, this resource enables cross-national comparisons among the 40 countries included, focusing on similarities and differences across countries. Over time this will provide a framework and set of benchmarks for future development and assessments of child and family policies. 

Children were a relatively hidden population during COVID-19. This was reflected in policies that were slow to respond to children’s needs but also in the evidence available about relevant policies. This unique database therefore fills a huge gap in our knowledge, not just about the measures that governments took during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect children and families but about how countries vary in the way they treat children and their needs. While it of course allows retrospective policy analysis, it will also enable discussions of and provide resources for the further development of a framework and set of indicators to monitor and assess progress in child and family policy.”    

Professor Mary Daly
Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, Department of Social Policy and Intervention (DSPI)