Early Childhood Education During and After This Pandemic
Here let’s talk about what might happen to early childhood education during and after this COVID-19 pandemic. Some are already happening because of current precautions and restrictions. Rapid and permanent changes are sure to happen and as parents we have to know some of the possibilities so we can help our children better prepare for the future.
Early childhood education during and after this pandemic
Movement is almost limited only to doing the essentials such as working, learning and buying groceries. However, the scope of essentials also includes having a healthy social and emotional life. This could be about going to parks, attending to small social events and interacting with co-workers and other people. For children it could be about playing with their peers and interacting with real objects and the real world.
It’s especially the case now where early childhood education emphasises play-based learning. It’s about more interaction with objects, environment and other children instead of a sole emphasis on academic learning and abstract thinking. This way, children can achieve a more holistic development that includes their social skills.
But that holistic development is at risk because of new threats and possible future restrictions. Playtime might be restricted and online learning (or in combination with in-person sessions) might be the standard. This means there will be less interaction and actual play-based learning. This will then affect the children’s learning and development (and could have long-term consequences to their physical and financial well being because of the huge importance of early childhood education).
It’s true that restrictions are easing up but there’s always that possibility of a re-emergence, second wave, a mutated deadlier strain or new information about the true effects of coronavirus to children. As a result, it’s crucial to stay updated with what the authorities say about the restrictions and how early learning centres are responding. Certainly more thorough cleaning and disinfection is being done in learning facilities as well as closely monitoring the children’s health (e.g. those with coronavirus-related symptoms, no matter how mild, might not be allowed in early childhood education and care facilities).
Even after the pandemic or we somehow figured it out how to better manage the crisis without risking people’s lives, there might be permanent changes as a result of emergency measures during the height of the crisis. One of those permanent changes is the clearer emphasis on the parents’ role to their children’s early education. Another is the clearer emphasis on the children’s physical health and how we can better help them deal with the uncertain future.