The Impacts of Covid on Childcare and Early Learning
The Covid pandemic has undoubtedly impacted our society and how we educate our children. Parents who navigated through multiple shutdowns, were forced into a teaching role that was unfamiliar territory. At the same time, children were removed from the structure and social aspects that childcare and early education can provide. Families were forced to juggle work, caregiving, and virtual learning challenges.
The impacts of these interruptions and challenges during critical developmental stages in children are still being studied. It is evident that children are lagging not only in their education but also in their social development.
Importance and Impacts of Early Education
Children experience critical developmental milestones from the ages of 0-5 years old. The brain develops more during this time than at any other point in the child’s life. The experiences and education they are exposed to help shape their ability to learn and succeed throughout their entire life.
For children to have optimal brain development, they need enriching and stimulating environments, proper nutrition, social interaction with adults and children, and plenty of learning opportunities. The Covid-19 pandemic took away many of those opportunities and limited the healthy development of many children.
The burden of early education fell on the parents who were dealing with economic instability and social isolation at the time, and often children’s needs were left unattended. Not all families were handling the pandemic equally. Some children were left in unsafe and adverse environments. Other families had to put development on hold while the parent worked.
For early learning educators, their goal is to help children in preschool prepare for kindergarten and help develop essential structure. The covid pandemic interrupted educators’ abilities to fully prepare children for kindergarten readiness leaving them behind when they first start kindergarten. Teachers are having to reevaluate lesson plans to help quickly get children caught up and used to the structure of a class.
Childcare & Early Childhood Programs Offered by Tulip Kids Academy
Next Steps for Parents
As the pandemic slowly starts to ease up and life begins to get back to a somewhat normal routine, parents have an essential role to play in their child’s education and development. They can help their children catch up and prepare for childcare and preschool by partnering with early educators, so the burden doesn’t solely fall on one or the other.
Sending a child to childcare or school was already hard enough before the pandemic forced essential changes in the way children could attend school. Parents’ role comes down to effective communication with your children on what is to be expected of them regarding safety measures.
Parents can connect with other parents to help create connections that can help other parents in situations or if a parent has questions. Connecting with other parents can help with comfortability and be a resource when they may need it.
Parents can help with development and education by ensuring their children has a solid routine, gets enough sleep, engage with them about their lessons for the day. They should build a good relationship with their children’s teachers or early educators to ensure their children are on track for successful mental and educational development.
The pandemic has reshaped the way children are educated and has prepared for at-home needs in times of unexpected closures. Parents and educators need to work together to help children’s development stay on track to ensure they can grow and blossom into healthy, functional adults.