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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 ecological investigation of kindergarten-oriented educational practice during the initial COVID-19 class suspension in China

AUTHOR(S)
Tian Yang; Ye Zhang

Published: July 2022   Journal: Early Education and Development
Given that kindergartens are essential in sustaining children’s education during the COVID-19 lockdown, this study investigates kindergarten-oriented educational practice during the initial class suspension (February–June 2020) in China. Articles published via twenty Chinese kindergartens’ WeChat official subscription accounts during this period and relevant policy documents were collected and analyzed. This study found that during the class suspension, China’s kindergartens were able to continue providing education by adding the topic of COVID-19 to the curriculum, remaining focused on subject-related learning, utilizing digital technologies as a communication platform, and assigning different roles to parents to support children’s learning at home. However, activities prescribed by teachers and kindergartens were generally teacher-directed and structured, which led to the marginalization of children’s voices and play.
Drawing from and expanding their toolboxes: preschool teachers' traditional strategies, unconventional opportunities, and novel challenges in scaffolding young children's social and emotional learning during remote instruction amidst COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer J. Chen; Charlene Brotherson Adams

Published: June 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
Building on aspects of Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory centering around social interaction and adult scaffolding as essential to children’s learning, this study investigated the most prominently used strategies by eight teachers to scaffold social and emotional learning (SEL) in preschool children (ages 3–4) in the context of remote instruction during the 2021–2022 school year amidst COVID-19. These teachers (seven females and one male) came from two urban preschools funded by their local Board of Education in the state of New Jersey in the United States. These teachers (ages 28–44 years, M = 32 years) varied in teaching experience from five to 29 years (M = 13 years). Each teacher was interviewed for an average of 40 min virtually via Zoom.
Back to school in the pandemic: observations of the influences of prevention measures on relationships, autonomy, and learning of preschool children

AUTHOR(S)
Naiara Ozamiz-Etxbarria; Maitane Picaza; Eneritz Jiménez-Etxebarria (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact on societies, economies, and education. In Spain, one of the countries most affected by the COVID-19 in the initial year, the virus began to spread at the end of February 2020. When the Spanish government declared a state of emergency, the first restrictive measure was the closure of all educational centers on the 14th of March. All schools and universities were closed until September 2020, when students returned to classes with preventative health measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus. This study focuses on the observation of children in pre-school education. Specifically, it focuses on studying how preventative health measures that were taken in the pre-schools may have influenced children’s social relationships, basic autonomy, and learning. We used a mixed method in which field notes were taken and observational scores were assigned.
Parents' strategies in dealing with children's stress symptoms in kindergarten during online learning

AUTHOR(S)
M. A. Muazar Habibi

Published: April 2022   Journal: International Journal of Innovative Research in Medical Science
Online learning causes children's stress symptoms, specifically for the preschoolers during COVID-19. This makes parents seek a method in overcoming the difficulties that are faced by students while studying. Therefore, this study aims to examine the parents' strategy in dealing with children's stress symptoms during online learning. A total of 27 respondents were selected using a purposive sampling technique with the criteria of parents and children that are involved in e-learning during COVID-19 in the Batulayar group B kindergarten, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Furthermore data were collected using a survey method.
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.
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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.