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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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61 - 75 of 135
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) during COVID-19 boosts growth in language and executive function

Catherine Davies; Alexandra Hendry; Shannon P. Gibson (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Infant and Child Development
High-quality, centre-based education and care during the early years benefit cognitive development, especially in children from disadvantaged backgrounds. During the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns, access to early childhood education and care (ECEC) was disrupted. This study investigates how this period affected the developmental advantages typically offered by ECEC.
SARS-CoV-2 vaccination during pregnancy: a complex decision

Elizabeth Wenqian Wang; Jacqueline G. Parchem; Robert L. Atmar (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Open Forum Infectious Diseases
As the first severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines passed UK and US regulatory milestones in late 2020 and early 2021, multiple professional societies offered recommendations to assist pregnant and breastfeeding people as they choose whether to undergo vaccination. Despite such guidance, the lack of data describing vaccine safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy in pregnant and breastfeeding people has made this decision challenging for many. However, even considering the paucity of data, the known risks of coronavirus disease 2019 during pregnancy likely outweigh the not yet fully elucidated risks of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, which have reassuring safety and efficacy profiles among nonpregnant people.
The Janus-faced effects of COVID-19 perceptions on family healthy eating behavior: parent’s negative experience as a mediator and gender as a moderator

Ali B. Mahmoud; Dieu Hack-Polay; Leonora Fuxman (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
This research examines the effects of COVID-19 perceptions and negative experiences during the pandemic time on parental healthy eating behavior and whether these relationships interact with a parent’s gender. It ran a survey of parents who had at least one child aged 3 to 17 years old living in the United Kingdom.
Maternal and perinatal outcomes of pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection at the time of birth in England: national cohort study

Ipek Gurol-Urganci; Jennifer E. Jardine; Fran Carroll (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

The aim of this study was to determine the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection at the time of birth and maternal and perinatal outcomes. This is a population-based cohort study in England. The inclusion criteria were women with a recorded singleton birth between 29th May 2020 and 31st January 2021 in a national database of hospital admissions. Maternal and perinatal outcomes were compared between pregnant women with a laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection recorded in the birth episode and those without.

Prevalence and changes in food-related hardships by socioeconomic and demographic groups during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK: A longitudinal panel study

Jonathan Koltaia; Veronica Toffolutti; Martin McKee (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Europe
Food insecurity concerns have featured prominently in the UK response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study assessed changes in the prevalence of food-related hardships in the UK population from April to July 2020. It analysed longitudinal data on food-related hardships for 11,104 respondents from the April-July 2020 waves of the Understanding Society COVID-19 web survey with linked data from the 2017-9 wave of the annual Understanding Society survey. Outcome variables were reports of being hungry but not eating and of being unable to eat healthy and nutritious food in the last week, which were adapted from the Food Insecurity Experience Scale. The study used unadjusted estimates to examine changes in population prevalence and logistic regression to assess the association between employment transitions and both outcomes at the individual level.
COVID-19 outbreaks following full reopening of primary and secondary schools in England: Cross-sectional national surveillance, November 2020

Felicity Aiano; Anna A. Mensah; Kelsey McOwat (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Europe
The full reopening of schools in September 2020 was associated with an increase in COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in educational settings across England. Primary and secondary schools reporting an outbreak (≥2 laboratory-confirmed cases within 14 days) to Public Health England (PHE) between 31 August and 18 October 2020 were contacted in November 2020 to complete an online questionnaire.
Widening the divide: the impact of school closures on primary science learning

Cherry Canovan; Naomi Fallon

Published: May 2021   Journal: SN Social Sciences volume
Prolonged Covid-19-related school closures in the UK raised concerns that science teaching and learning at primary level would be negatively impacted. This paper reports the findings of phase 1 of a study that the authors are conducting with teachers and parents to explore this issue. We found that a significant proportion of teachers were providing less science during lockdown than in the normal school week. Teachers, particularly those working in more deprived areas, reported that translating the science curriculum for home learning had been difficult, with concerns around resources, internet access and parental ability to help. Some areas of the curriculum posed particular difficulties, leading to a narrowing of topics being taught. Both teachers and parents felt that schools prioritised English and maths above science. Meanwhile some parents reported that their children had engaged in sophisticated extracurricular activities, bolstered by resources available at home and knowledgeable adult help, but others said that their children had done no science at all.
Staff–pupil SARS-CoV-2 infection pathways in schools in Wales: a population-level linked data approach

Daniel A Thompson; Hoda Abbasizanjani; Richard Fry (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: BMJ Paediatrics Open

Better understanding of the role that children and school staff play in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is essential to guide policy development on controlling infection while minimising disruption to children’s education and well-being. This national e-cohort (n=464531) study used anonymised linked data for pupils, staff and associated households linked via educational settings in Wales. It estimated the odds of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection for staff and pupils over the period August– December 2020, dependent on measures of recent exposure to known cases linked to their educational settings.

Cite this research | Vol.: 5 | Issue: 1 | No. of pages: 7 | Language: English | Topics: Education | Tags: child education, COVID-19 response, disease transmission, infectious disease, lockdown, school attendance | Countries: United Kingdom
Vulnerable children’s right to education, school exclusion, and pandemic law-making

Lucinda Ferguson

Published: May 2021   Journal: Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
This article draws on the impact of the ongoing pandemic to highlight the failure of the English legal regime to adequately protect children’s right to education, particularly equal access to education by especially vulnerable children. It first outlines key domestic and international legislative provisions positioned as securing children’s and parents’ rights in this context. Prior to the pandemic, there was growing recognition of the current regime's failings regarding illegal exclusions from school, children missing from education, and the lack of inclusive education for children with special educational needs and disabilities (‘SEND’). The protection of children’s rights relied on the benevolent exercise of discretion and key decision-makers not exploiting limited oversight and scrutiny in order to meet results-driven accountability measures. Second, this article critically analyses pandemic law-making and regulation, particularly in relation to the exclusion process, the legal duty to provide education in an online environment, the law on Education, Health, and Care Plans (‘EHCPs’), and the de-registration and fines for non-attendance. Third, it argues that the educational impact of the pandemic highlights the need for law reform, rather than merely revisions to statutory guidance and focus on best practice. Such reform may also trigger improvement via the ‘reflexive regulation’ of the education system.
Social work and child protection for a post-pandemic world: the re-making of practice during COVID-19 and its renewal beyond it

Harry Ferguson; Laura Kelly; Sarah Pink

Published: May 2021   Journal: Journal of Social Work Practice
The Covid-19 pandemic presented social workers and managers in child protection with complex practical and moral dilemmas about how to respond to children and families while social distancing. This paper draws on our research into practice during the pandemic to show some of the ways social workers changed their practice and to provide theories and concepts that can help to account for how such change occurs. Drawing on anthropological uses of the concepts of ‘contingency’ and ‘improvisation’ and Hartmut Rosa’s sociological work on ‘adaptive transformation’ and ‘resonance’ this paper shows how social workers creatively ‘re-made’ key aspects of their practice, by recognising inequalities and providing material help, through digital casework, movement and walking encounters, and by going into homes and taking risks by getting close to children and parents. It is vital that such improvisation and remaking are learned from and sustained post-pandemic as this can renew practice and enable social workers to better enhance the lives of service users.
Children and Covid 19 in the UK

Louise Holt; Lesley Murray

Published: May 2021   Journal: Children's Geographies
The UK has been one of the most badly affected nations of the Global North by the COVID-19 outbreak in terms of illness, death rates and a severe economic downturn. Children have been impacted severely (and unequally), with UK lockdown meaning that many children were away from school and usual leisure activities for six months during the first lockdown. This study revised this viewpoint during the third lockdown when schools were closed again for an indefinite time. Despite substantial media and policy debate about the impact of COVID-19 on young people, with a focus on education, young people’s own voices tend to be obscured in these mainstream accounts. By contrast, the Children’s Commissioner for England has focused on young people’s accounts, which are discussed in this viewpoint.
Teachers' narratives during COVID-19 partial school reopenings: an exploratory study

Lisa E. Kim; Rowena Leary; Kathryn Asbury

Published: May 2021   Journal: Educational Research

Many countries around the world imposed nationwide school closures to manage the spread of COVID-19. England closed its schools for most pupils in March 2020 and prepared to reopen schools to certain year groups in June 2020. Understanding teachers’ lived experiences at this time of educational disruption is important, shedding light on challenges faced and support needed by schools and teachers in the event of further disruption. The research reported here represents the second timepoint in a longitudinal study investigating what it was like being a teacher in England during the pandemic. This study aimed to better understand teachers’ experiences at a time of partial reopening of schools in mid-June 2020.

When it matters most: a trauma-informed, outdoor learning programme to support children's wellbeing during COVID-19 and beyond

Michaela Mulholland; Catriona O'Toole

Published: May 2021   Journal: Irish Educational Studies
This paper presents a unique school-based programme that harnesses the benefits of both trauma-informed practice (TIP) and outdoor environments to support children’s social and emotional wellbeing throughout the pandemic and beyond. In the opening sections of the paper, we discuss the extant literature and conceptual underpinning of TIP and outdoor learning, and highlight why both are needed, particularly in the context of Covid-19. We then chart the design of a six-week outdoor trauma-informed programme, devised to support children’s emotional regulation and overall sense of wellbeing. The programme activities are aligned to the Northern Ireland curriculum, and are tailored to make use of the outdoor spaces available in the first author’s place of work – a primary school in South Belfast.
Family–school partnerships in the age of Covid-19: reasons for optimism amidst a global pandemic

Chris Jones; Colin Forster

Published: May 2021   Journal: Contemporary Issues in Practitioner Education
This article reports on research undertaken in May and June 2020, during the initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic when schools in England were still closed to the majority of children. The research sought to explore the impact of the so-called ‘lockdown’ on family–school partnerships. Research shows such partnerships make an important contribution to the effective education of children and young people, potentially leading to improved behaviour, engagement and learning outcomes. The study was conducted as a short online survey, circulated through social media and email, which invited teachers, school leaders and others working in primary and secondary schools to share their experiences of family–school partnership during this time. Analysis of the data showed that schools had made considerable efforts to maintain communication and support for all families, particularly those deemed ‘hard-to-reach’, and many participants reported that family–school partnerships had actually been strengthened through this testing period of time.
Reflections from the forgotten frontline: ‘the reality for children and staff in residential care’ during COVID‐19

Sarah Parry DClinPsy; Tracey Williams; Jeremy Oldfield

Published: May 2021   Journal: Health and Social Care in the Community
Currently, 78,150 children are in care in England, with 11% of the most vulnerable living in 2,460 residential homes due to multitype traumas. These children require safe and secure trauma-informed therapeutic care. However, the children's residential care workforce delivering this vital care is an unrepresented, under-researched and largely unsupported professional group. The workforce undertakes physically and emotionally challenging work in difficult conditions, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Practitioner wellbeing is directly associated with outcomes for children. Therefore, we sought to understand how experiences within the workforce could improve overall working conditions, and thus outcomes for staff and children.
61 - 75 of 135

UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.