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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The effects of COVID‐19 pandemic on early childhood care systems in Hawaii in 2020

Jeffrey K. Okamoto; Keiko Nitta; Kirra Borrello (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Public Health Challenges
he COVID-19 pandemic caused many effects on the referrals to and the work of governmental agencies working with young children. This article describes the impact on the use of early childhood evaluations and services in the State of Hawaii. It looked at several nonpublic data sets from the Hawaii Department of Health and Department of Human Services, comparing the rates of early intervention referrals, lead level screening, childhood immunizations, and child welfare referrals in 2019 and 2020. It also describes effects on the work processes in various early childhood programs from the COVID-19 stay-at-home and work mandates.
Evaluating the effectiveness of the Supportive Parenting App on parental outcomes: randomized controlled trial

Shefaly Shorey; Evelyn Law; Thilagamangai (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Journal of Medical Internet Research

Adjusting to new or additional parenting responsibilities increases stress and affects parental well-being. Existing research has highlighted both parents’ desire to receive more support. It has also been found that receiving sufficient social support enhances parenting outcomes. With the increasing popularity of mobile health apps, a Supportive Parenting App (SPA) intervention was developed to fulfill the support needs of parents during the perinatal period.
 This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of the SPA on parental outcomes during the perinatal period.

A win-win for all of us: COVID-19 sheds light on the essentialness of child care as key infrastructure

Owusua Yamoah; Sarah Balser; Callie Ogland-Hand (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Child care centers in the United States allow many parents and caregivers to work in and outside of the home and support the growth and development of children. Child care closures and COVID-19 mitigation measures at the onset of the pandemic heightened the need for and awareness of the role of child care as core infrastructure. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived role and benefits of child care based on the lived experiences of parents/caregivers and staff navigating child care during the pandemic. It conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with parents/caregivers (n = 20) of children who attended child care and staff (n = 12) who were working at child care programs in Ohio from September to November 2020. Qualitative data were coded and analyzed through the lens of four frameworks (i.e., capabilities, developmental, economics, and mutualism) related to child well-being.
Parental decision-making on summer program enrollment: a mixed methods Covid-19 impact study

Roddrick Dugger; Layton Reesor-Oyer; Michael W. Beets (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Evaluation and Program Planning

The closure of childcare organizations (e.g. schools, childcare centers, afterschool programs, summer camps) during the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the health and wellbeing of families. Despite their reopening, parents may be reluctant to enroll their children in summer programming. Knowledge of the beliefs that underlie parental concerns will inform best practices for organizations that serve children. Parents (n = 17) participated in qualitative interviews (October 2020) to discuss Covid-19 risk perceptions and summer program enrollment intentions. Based on interview responses to perceived Covid-19 risk, two groups emerged for analysis- “Elevated Risk (ER)” and “Conditional Risk (CR)”. Themes were identified utilizing independent coding and constant-comparison analysis. Follow-up interviews (n = 12) in the Spring of 2021 evaluated the impact of vaccine availability on parent risk perceptions. Additionally, parents (n = 17) completed the Covid-19 Impact survey to assess perceived exposure (Range: 0–25) and household impact (Range: 2–60) of the pandemic. Scores were summed and averaged for the sample and by risk classification group.

Children's services and the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy: a study with educators and parents

Maria Letizia Bosoni

Published: December 2022   Journal: Children & Society
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptive changes across different life experiences essential to children's growth and development, including early childcare services and schools, thus threatening precious opportunities for children in early childhood to learn. The pandemic has also undermined the collaborative and alliance relationship between childcare services and families which has been widely considered an important aspect of modern services. This paper presents and discusses results from a mixed-method exploratory study with early childcare services for children between 0 and 6 years in Italy in 2021, involving both teachers and parents, to understand experiences, educational practices put in place in childcare services, feelings, resources and risks perceived by families and teachers.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children living in shelters and children in the community (Review)

Elisavet Damaskopoulou; Eleni Papakonstantinou; Flora Bacopoulou (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: World Academy of Sciences Journal
In the first 2 years of the pandemic, from late 2019 to late 2021, several studies were conducted to determine the experience of children during the continuous lockdowns, school closures and isolation from their friends, teachers or relatives. The studies conducted included children being raised in childcare facilities and children being raised in their own homes, in various parts of the world. Numerous children worldwide, in addition to the stress and difficulties experienced by adults and minors during these years of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019) pandemic, have experienced physical, psychological and sexual abuse. The available data indicate that the number of children presenting to hospitals with injuries from abuse has increased, despite the fact that there was a decrease in the number of reports of child abuse during the lockdowns. The financial difficulties that a number of families have faced, and continue to face, comprise the most prominent risk factor for child neglect. Additionally, a marked decrease has also been noted in the provision of care to children in care homes as regards quality. This has been mainly due to a reduction in the number of employees, either as they themselves or someone they cared for became infected with COVID-19, or as the employees and care givers suffered from exhaustion brought on by the very difficult working conditions and very strict measures taken during this period of the pandemic.
Challenges faced by childcare directors during COVID-19: leading during a global pandemic

Tracey K. Hoffman; Gerard H. Poll

Published: November 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
Childcare centers have faced many stressors both during and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on stress and coping theories, this study explores how the pandemic affected childcare center practices and how center directors responded. Childcare directors were surveyed to explore their perspectives about the pandemic’s effects on teachers and staff, children and families, and the daily routines at their centers. The ramifications of masking, quarantines, and social distancing were also discussed. In addition, directors were asked how they envisioned the future for their centers, and their plans to move forward after the pandemic.
Supporting young children with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from caregivers in Virginia

Anna Shapiro; Daphna Bassok

Published: November 2022   Journal: AERA Open
Early care and education (ECE) experiences shape children’s developmental trajectories, particularly for children who have or may have disabilities. However, caregivers of children with disabilities have faced considerable challenges finding care for their children, which have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using survey data from nearly 3,000 caregivers of preschool-age children in Virginia collected in December 2020 and January 2021, we find that caregivers of children with disabilities were less likely to find ECE programs that met their needs, more likely to experience high levels of stress, and more likely to be concerned about their children’s development than were caregivers of children without disabilities. Concerns about child development were particularly pronounced among caregivers of children with disabilities in remote instructional settings.
Everyday life of children in out-of-home care during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic

Pia K. Eriksson; Siiri Utriainen

Published: November 2022   Journal: European Journal of Social Work
This article scrutinises the impacts of COVID-19 on the everyday life of children in out-of-home care in Finland during the first year of the pandemic. A content analysis was conducted on survey data of municipal social workers’ evaluations on the effect of the pandemic on 773 children in foster and residential care.
Co-production before, during, and after the first COVID-19 lockdown: the case of developmental services for youth with disabilities

Monica Carminati; Dario Cavenago; Laura Mariani (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: International Review of Administrative Sciences
Co-production was vital to support public services provision during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the main challenges for service providers is to make co-production sustainable. There are few empirical studies on the sustainability of co-production from a long-term perspective. This study aims to contribute to this topic by exploring the micro-level foundations of co-production persistence through a longitudinal qualitative study in three public service organizations providing developmental services for youth with disabilities. Co-production is analyzed along the service provision process before, during and after the first COVID-19 lockdown, with specific attention on exploring how the conditions for sustainable co-production – mutual commitment, complementarities and institutional arrangements – occur and reinforce one another after an external shock.
Changes in utilization and access to care for children and youth with special health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kristin Hittle Gigli; Genevieve Graaf

Published: September 2022   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Health Care
Children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) are vulnerable to health care disruption, and policies were adopted to mitigate COVID-19-related disruptions. This study compared CYSHCN use of and access to care in 2019 to 2020. Using the National Survey of Children's Health, it identified CYSHCN and assessed differences in health care use, unmet health care needs, frustrations accessing care, and barriers to care using multivariable logistic regression analysis.
The refinement of home exercise program for children and adolescents with muscular dystrophy in the present COVID-19 pandemic scenario: a scoping review

Pallavi Harjpal; Rakesh K. Kovela; Anushka Raipure (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Cureus
Muscular dystrophies (MDs) are a category of hereditary illnesses characterized by the gradual malfunction and/or weakening of the skeletal muscles. This disease of the muscles also results in hypotonia and joint contracture, along with raised serum creatine kinase (CK) levels. To prevent complications, continuous physiotherapy is advised for children with muscular dystrophy, which is even asked to perform at home as a home exercise program (HEP). As a result, the home exercise program (HEP) is critical in maintaining the optimal health of children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The present coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has adversely affected these children as there was very little scope to get direct help from a physiotherapist. Meanwhile, the home program was continued by many to compensate for the direct benefit. However, because of the lack of specific guidelines and structured methodology to follow for a home program, there was a deterioration in the health status of many children. There is a need to understand how the children are getting affected and the way the home program can be refined to help needy children with muscular dystrophy. Our scoping review aims to identify the present home program patterns being followed for children with DMD and their scope for refinement. The data were collected from electronic databases including PubMed, ProQuest, Cochrane, and Web of Science.
Childcare providers and COVID-19: the role of regulatory emotional self-efficacy in sustaining subjective well-being

Giovanni Maria Vecchio; Federica Zava; Maria Gerbino (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Early Education and Development
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the education system faced unprecedented challenges, including global school closures, the cancellation of face-to-face teaching, and ultimately school step-wise or partial reopening. Childcare providers have faced additional significant stressors from the beginning of the outbreak. The present study aimed at investigating the effect of childcare providers’ regulatory emotional self-efficacy on their subjective well-being (i.e. positive and negative affect), including indirectly through a reduction in stress during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. Three hundred and sixty-four childcare providers at daycares and preschools in Italy participated in the study by completing an online survey. A structural equation model revealed an indirect effect between self-efficacy beliefs in the management of negative emotions and negative affect, via stress. More specifically, childcare providers with high self-efficacy beliefs in the management of negative emotions experienced less negative affect, alongside lower levels of stress.
Guidance for states on measuring equitable allocation of COVID relief funds and progress toward child care stabilization

Patti Banghart; Carlise King; Sarah Daily

Published: September 2022   Journal: Child Trends
The COVID-19 pandemic caused major hardships for child care providers and families with young children, leading an already fragile early care and education (ECE) system to the brink of collapse. Approximately two thirds of child care providers were closed in April 2020, and one third remained closed as of April 2021i due to financial instability from temporary closures and/or lower enrollment.ii This meant that the underpaid child care workforce—which disproportionately includes Black and Hispanic women, and other1 women of color and immigrant womeniii—was one of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic. As of June 2022, child care employment nationwide remains down nearly 10 percent compared with February 2020.
"Will it work as well on Zoom?" A natural experiment during the Covid-19 pandemic of delivering parenting groups via video conferencing or in person

Livia van Leuven; Maria Lalouni; Martin Forster

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal of Child and Family Studies
While rates of child maltreatment increased during the Covid-19-pandemic, face-to-face interventions to support families got difficult to carry out due to restrictions. Meanwhile, many services do not have access to parenting programs designed for digital or remote delivery. A solution employed by some services was to use video conferencing (VC) to deliver their regular parenting programs. This study examined the effectiveness of the universal group-based parenting program ABC offered through VC instead of on-site meetings during the pandemic. Pre and post measurements were collected from 469 parents participating in either 1) ABC with VC meetings only, 2) on-site meetings only, or 3) blended – a combination of VC and on-site sessions. In addition, 74 group leaders completed a survey about their experiences of VC groups.
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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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