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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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An examination of bedtime media and excessive screen time by Canadian preschoolers during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
C. Fitzpatrick; M. L. Almeida; E. Harvey (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMC Pediatrics

Risky media use in terms of accumulating too much time in front of screens and usage before bedtime in early childhood is linked to developmental delays, reduced sleep quality, and unhealthy media use in later childhood and adulthood. For this reason, this study examines patterns of media use in pre-school children and the extent to which child and family characteristics contribute to media use during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional study of digital media use by Canadian preschool-aged children (mean age = 3.45, N = 316) was conducted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic between April and August of 2020. Parents completed a questionnaire and 24-h recall diary in the context of an ongoing study of child digital media.


An analysis of parents' perceptions about using smart gadgets by pre-school students during pandemic-19

AUTHOR(S)
Iqra Almas; Muhammad Salman Abbas; Abdul Waheed

Published: April 2022   Journal: JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
This research examines the implementation of technology-based learning, such as the use of android, personal computers, and IPads. The action of this research is the use of digital technology for early childhood on the role of parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. This method was chosen because the researcher wanted to identify the parents' responses through a questionnaire on the use of technology as well as some of the roles of parents towards their children during taking advantage of this technology. That way, the survey method is considered very suitable to be used and in line with the function of survey research, namely to collect and explain opinions or opinions from a group of people (samples) on a particular topic. The number of samples in this study was 385 respondents (parents). The simple random technique is the sampling technique of choice used by researchers in sampling. Location research is Bahawalpur City. This research data was obtained online through the google forms platform. The instrument used is a questionnaire regarding the use of technology through the role of parents. The statements in this research questionnaire are 10 statements. There are five Likert scales used, namely very often (5), often (4), sometimes (3), never (2), and never (1).
An ecological perspective on early educator well-being at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Emily C. Hanno; Madelyn Gardner; Stephanie M. Jones (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Early educator well-being is increasingly understood as a critical ingredient of high-quality early education and care. The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened educator well-being by exacerbating existing stressors and introducing novel stressors to all aspects of early educators’ lives, and early educators have had differential access to resources to cope with these new circumstances. Using survey data collected between April and June 2020 with a sample of 666 early educators in community-based center, family child care, Head Start, and public school prekindergarten programs across Massachusetts, this study documents the pandemic's initial influence on educators’ sense of well-being.
Preschool education optimization based on mobile edge computing under COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Hongzhi Wei; Yuqian Yang; Zhijian Liu

Published: January 2022   Journal: Expert Systems
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought profound changes in people's live and work. It has also accelerated the development of education from traditional model to online model, which is particularly important in preschool education. Preschoolers communicate with teachers through online video, so how to provide high quality and low latency online teaching has become a new challenge. In cloud computing, users offload computing tasks to the cloud to meet the high computing demands of their devices, but cloud-based solutions have led to huge bandwidth usage and unpredictable latency. In order to solve this problem, mobile edge computing (MEC) deploys the server at the edge of the network to provide the service with close range and low latency. In task scheduling, edge computing (EC) devices have rational thinking, and they are unwilling to collaborate with MEC server to perform tasks due to their selfishness. Therefore, it is necessary to design an effective incentive mechanism to encourage the collaboration of EC devices.
How parents spent time at home with their preschool-aged children during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Ayşe Duran; Esra Ömeroğlu

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Early Childhood Research
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been seen in more than 120 countries, including Turkey, which took public health measures to reduce the spread of the novel virus. The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the Turkish education system, where schools closed indefinitely on March 16, 2020, due to the pandemic. School closures immediately changed the lives of Turkish children and their parents, as children started to spend more time with their families at home during this pandemic. This article addresses how parents spent time with their children at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how their feelings changed during this time. Purposive sampling was used to select 25 parents whose children in preschool education during the spring semester of 2020. This study used qualitative methods, collecting data through a semi-structured interview form. Interviews were conducted over the telephone because of the social distancing guidelines during the pandemic.
Early childhood educators as COVID warriors: adaptations and responsiveness to the pandemic across five countries

AUTHOR(S)
Judith Gomes; Sylvia Christine Almeida; G. Kaveri (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: International Journal of Early Childhood
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted countries across the globe. The pandemic has created a completely new teaching–learning environment of interaction for early childhood educators. In many countries, face-to-face teaching has been replaced by remote teaching, while in others, there have been intermittent lockdowns and limited interruptions to regular teaching norms. Given the play-based nature of preschool teaching–learning activities in most countries, educators are required to reimagine the sociocultural relationships to their pedagogical practices in their everyday teaching–learning contexts. This paper sheds light on educators’ experiences and the dramatic shift in their indoor–outdoor teaching–learning environment due to the evolving health measures. The study draws on notions of teachers’ identities and Vygotsky’s cultural–historical concept of social situation of development (Vygotsky, 1994) to capture the new forms of relationships that early childhood educators experienced with their pedagogical environments across different countries during the pandemic.
Measuring and forecasting progress in education: what about early childhood?

AUTHOR(S)
Linda M. Richter; Jere R. Behrman; Pia Britto (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: npj Science of Learning
A recent Nature article modelled within-country inequalities in primary, secondary, and tertiary education and forecast progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets related to education (SDG 4). However, their paper entirely overlooks inequalities in achieving Target 4.2, which aims to achieve universal access to quality early childhood development, care and preschool education by 2030. This is an important omission because of the substantial brain, cognitive and socioemotional developments that occur in early life and because of increasing evidence of early-life learning’s large impacts on subsequent education and lifetime wellbeing. This study provides an overview of this evidence and uses new analyses to illustrate medium- and long-term implications of early learning, first by presenting associations between pre-primary programme participation and adolescent mathematics and science test scores in 73 countries and secondly, by estimating the costs of inaction (not making pre-primary programmes universal) in terms of forgone lifetime earnings in 134 countries. This study finds considerable losses, comparable to or greater than current governmental expenditures on all education (as percentages of GDP), particularly in low- and lower-middle-income countries. In addition to improving primary, secondary and tertiary schooling, it concludes that to attain SDG 4 and reduce inequalities in a post-COVID era, it is essential to prioritize quality early childhood care and education, including adopting policies that support families to promote early learning and their children’s education.
Preschoolers’ approaches to learning and family-school connections during COVID-19: an empirical study based on a Wuhan sample

AUTHOR(S)
Fei Tan; Xin Gong; Xiao Zhang (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
The concept, approaches to learning (ATL), is an important dimension of children’s school readiness, which reflects children’s enthusiasm and engagement in learning settings. Due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), when preschools were shut down for months and children’s social interactions were greatly limited, preschoolers’ ATL might be negatively affected. However, strengthened family-school connections might have the potential to reduce the adverse effects of the pandemic. Based on a sample of 340 preschoolers from 30 classes of 6 preschools in Wuhan, China, we explored the association between family-preschool connections and preschoolers’ ATL scores.
Doing what I can, but I got no magic wand: a snapshot of early childhood educator experiences and efforts to ensure quality during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
April Crawford; Kelly A. Vaughn; Cathy L. Guttentag (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted early childhood programs serving infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in dramatic ways. After temporarily closing, many educators quickly adapted their procedures to ensure children’s safety as they reopened to provide childcare for essential workers and then the community at large. This manuscript reports on statewide efforts to continue quality improvement initiatives for early childhood programs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This study first describes the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for over 2000 educators—teachers, administrators, and specialists—who completed surveys in the Spring and Fall of 2020. These survey data come from a statewide system called the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS), designed to track the professional development needs/progress of early childhood educators. Second, it describes an example of how a statewide professional development and quality improvement program shifted to remote delivery during the pandemic.
Preschool children’s drawings: a reflection on children’s needs within the learning environment post COVID-19 pandemic school closure

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Omar Alabdulkarim; Sama Khomais; Ibtesam Yassin Hussain (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Journal of Research in Childhood Education
This research analyzes the content of preschool children’s drawings as they reflect on aspects of their preschool environment that they missed most during COVID-19 pandemic-related school closures in Saudi Arabia. Children participated in collaboration with their mothers, who directed and collected their drawings. The participants were limited to a group of 41 children between 3–7 years old. The results revealed that most of their drawings were of people, followed by the school environment; the playground was the most prominent area drawn representing the physical environment. Other categories, from the most to the least drawn, include nature, daily scheduled activities, writing activities, food items, and methods of transportation. Through drawings, children showed their most important needs in the preschool environment, which provides some insight into what educators should plan for when children to return to school.
Preschool parents’ views of distance learning during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Michele L. Stites; Susan Sonneschein; Samantha H. Galczyk

Published: May 2021   Journal: Early Education and Development
While research is beginning to emerge about the educational landscape during COVID-19, little attention has been paid to preschool. This mainly descriptive study examined U.S. parents’ views on distance learning for their preschool children during the COVID-19 crisis. Using a survey distributed via social media groups to U.S. parents of preschoolers (N = 166), it examined the following: the types of activities parents engaged in, obstacles to preschool distance learning, and the types of resources parents needed.
Screen time for preschool children: learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Indri Hapsari Susilowati; Susiana Nugraha; Sudibyo Alimoeso (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Global Pediatric Health
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indonesian Government enacted a study at home policy for all students. This policy also applied to preschool children aged 2 to 6 years old. The purpose of the research was to examine the duration and impact of digital media use by preschool children in urban areas in Indonesia during weekdays and weekends. Data were collected using a validated questionnaire called the Surveillance of digital-Media hAbits in earLy chiLdhood Questionnaire (SMALLQ®). A total of 951 parents or guardians (17-70 years old) who had preschool children volunteered to complete the questionnaire online.
Safety education for children cannot stop for a pandemic: transitioning an injury prevention program to a virtual format

AUTHOR(S)
Sara Seegert; Taylor D. Meehan; Regina A. Veres

Published: May 2021   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
In-person safety programs for pre-kindergarten children were not able to go on in their usual way during the summer of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While some communities opted to cancel the programs, one organization in Northwest Ohio chose to reformat it, knowing that this education is a critical introduction to lifelong safety habits. Through social media, video-taped education from community safety professionals, and activity packets given to registrants, “Safety City” was able to go on. The new format incorporated all of the childhood safety topics normally presented in the live version of the program. The efforts described here indicate that it is feasible to alter presentation formats from in-person to virtual to connect even young children with important education. As such, similar programs needing to make this transition while the world continues to adjust to pandemic precautions may benefit from understanding the strengths, limitations, and insights from the process.
Virtual kindergarten readiness programming for preschool-aged children: feasibility, social validity, and preliminary impacts

AUTHOR(S)
Rebecca Dore; Laura Justice; Abigail K. Mills (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Early Education and Development
The global COVID-19 pandemic prevented the implementation of in-person summer learning programs designed to improve school readiness for entering kindergartners. Thus, we conducted the current study examining the feasibility, social validity, and preliminary impacts of a virtual summer learning program. Ninety-one preschoolers and their caregivers participated in a 4-week program involving one weekly teacher-caregiver meeting, two weekly Watch Together home learning activities, two weekly Play Together home learning activities, one or two weekly Read Together home learning activities, and one or two weekly teacher-child video chat lessons. Recruitment and participation indicated high levels of interest.
Online preschool education optimization based on edge computing in the era of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Xiaoxuan Duan

Published: April 2021   Journal: Internet Technology Letters
Under the influence of COVID‐19, people's normal life and activities have been limited, such as the education of children, which leads to the emergence of online preschool education. Since online preschool education is large‐scale and time‐sensitive, the traditional network model cannot satisfy the needs of online education. In this paper, edge computing is adopted to optimize online preschool education, where a task unloading algorithm based on genetic algorithm (TUOGA) is designed to minimize the computing delay of terminal tasks. In order to verify the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed algorithm, TUOGA is compared with two task offloading algorithms, and simulation results show that the proposed algorithm outperforms them in the aspect of time latency.
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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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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.