Press Release:– The National Association of Early Childhood Practitioners (NAECP) is concerned about the closure of preschools and the long term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on daycare and pre-school children.
By now we know that our sector is one of the hardest hit by this pandemic and we as an Association seek to find solutions on the impact, and the way forward with the parents and children of our nation.
Unfortunately, for children, the impact of this pandemic will be felt for years to come.
Thus far our Administrators and staff have received updates from our parents as to how the children are coping at home since the second closure in less than three months, and the effects on their development and the concerns highlighted by the parents could be devastating for these children’s long-term success and mental health.
Research on development of children has highlighted that the early years are amongst the most crucial during the formative years of a child’s life.
As educators in the field we know that the majority of children who start kindergarten without a preschool education are more likely to repeat a grade or need extra support.
The NAECP is aware of many children and parents who are already struggling due to the fact that they were not prepared for the transition into primary school during September 2020; as they are the products of the first school closure due to the pandemic.
Therefore if there is a way to support our children, we would like to reach out.
Once again studies have proved that 95% of brain development occurs before age 5, so therefore it is imperative that our children are exposed to good quality early-learning experiences, as this lays the foundation for cognitive development for the rest of their lives.
Studies have also shown that children who attend quality early-learning programs are more likely to enter kindergarten with a solid grasp of language and mathematics and to have positive relationships with their peers, for example.
They’re also less likely to struggle with behavioral problems.
That National Association of Early Childhood Practitioners will continue to inform that our Centres are not babysitting services.
We provide a safe and nurturing environment with a curriculum that takes into consideration the holistic development of the child.
Parents need to have a choice whether to home-school their children or have their children in a setting that meets the protocols that is expected for Covid-19, as well as a curriculum that meets the holistic development of their children.
The absence from school due to Covid-19 had varied effects on the children who attended our Centers.
Staff spent most of the time observing the children and it was not surprising to see that the children exhibited great joy of seeing their friends again; however, at the same time they expressed anxiety of whether they would see their friends again and questioned whether school will be open when they returned.
They exhibited difficulties trusting the teachers and majority of them were confused and some held onto their belongings as they were ready, just in case their parents had to
pick them up.
In addition teachers were also able to notice some children displaying strange behaviors like talking to their fingers instead of their classmates.
“We won’t know the full impact of these school closures for a while,” as researchers claim “but there’s every reason to believe that it’s sizable.
“Help us to cushion the blows for our children”
The organization continues to lend support to parents and looks forward to the policy makers taking a serious look into the value of Early-childhood education and the sustainability of this Sector.