Just as illness can sometimes heal us, some have speculated an unexpected silver lining of COVID-19 may be an invigoration of a prosocial vision as the ‘new normal’ necessitates new ways of thinking and doing things differently across society and in preschool. This article explores this and reports survey research completed with preschool practitioners post-lockdown across several locations in England and the USA. This repeated a previous survey we did in 2014 which found notable levels of ‘social distancing’ – that is restrictions in social connection between preschool practitioners and children and their parents in poverty. Yet, since 2014 with austerity and then COVID-19, the pressure, and need, for prosocial preschool systems to work flexibly and inclusively with children and families in poverty has never been greater. We report findings from our 2021 survey and raise some concerns in the context of COVID-19 recovery policies emerging across both countries post-lockdown.