How has the development of children affected the loss of children due to COVID?

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by Catherine Davies, Alexandra Hendry and Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez,

Credit: public domain CC0

Nurseries can be noisy places. A clutch of three-year-olds gathered around a book screaming excitedly. Throughout the room, a small committee of young children negotiates on stickers and ropes. Outside, key workers cheer on pairs of miniature gymnasts while others sing to sleeping babies. And through cacophony the use of language by children is developed.

For parents who pick up their children, the conversation and the buzz of daycare are always reassuring. Even more so during the pandemic: another day of play and learning takes place, with protection measures in place.

It is understandable that parents are anxious about how the pandemic has affected the development of their preschool children. More than half of the 570 parents respondent for a recent Sutton Trust report, it was considered that the social and emotional development of his two to four years had been negatively affected during the pandemic. A quarter of these parents felt that their child’s particular language growth had suffered. One in five had similar concerns about their physical development.

In a recent study on what cares for children care for children’s speaking, comprehension, and thinking skills, we find that a child who regularly attended a crib or babysitter one day a week during the pandemic understood an average of 24 more new words during the research period compared to their peers.

Pandemic restrictions

When the first closure was announced in England in March 2020, nurseries, daycare centers and other early childhood providers were closed to all children except those of critical workers or those classified as vulnerable. Over the next four months, attendance at nurseries in England declined 5-10% of his usual rhythm.

The nursery staff worked hard stay connected to families. Many offer free and easy online activities such as stories and songs, puppet shows and creative contests.

Despite these great efforts, we still do not know what impact the disruption will have on children in the long run. Will those who were able to attend kindergarten get the usual pre-COVID benefits, as many of their classmates and teachers were at home and their usual play environment looked so different?

Although the benefits of early childhood education and care are particularly pronounced in children of disadvantaged background, those from more privileged backgrounds will likely also have been affected by the closure of nursery schools, as families struggled to provide supportive learning environments at home while sharing time between caring for young children, l ‘education of other children and work.

To understand how this disruption has affected families and young children, we have recruited close to 200 families from the UK through our research laboratories. Between March and June 2020, we asked about their use of formal (as daycare and daycare) and informal (informal) forms. and friends) childcare, before, during and between the first and second closure in England. We also collected information on income, level of education, employment, and neighborhood.

Investigate early thinking skills (known as executive functions—Control of Attention, Behavior, and Emotions), we asked parents how often their child exhibited different behavior, such as following instructions, exploring, and regulating their emotions. Parents and caregivers told us how many words their children said and understood from categories such as animals, vehicles, and food. And we asked them to play games with their son, which they were designed to provoke abilities such as waiting, finding, and sorting – and then analyzing their observations.

In November and December 2020, we followed up with families on their children’s abilities in the same areas, and explored the relationship between the time children had spent in kindergarten or with a babysitter, their growth in language and thinking skills, and their .

We find that a child who regularly attended two days came to understand 48 new words more than his peers during the same period. This effect was greatest among children from less affluent backgrounds. Children who continued to attend daycare or daycare also showed greater impulses in cognitive control, flexibility, and memory, regardless of socioeconomic background.

Leveling inequalities

Our data clearly show that time in kindergarten or with a daycare helps children strengthen their language and cognitive skills. This fits the research that shows that, alongside a support home learning environment—Vital for principles language and literacy development: High quality child care is equally important.

Caring for children can stimulate the social, cognitive, physical, and language growth that children need starting school. And children who enter their education with a solid foundation have better chances at school and have better financial success. adult.

Children of disadvantaged background earn additional benefits from early childhood education and care. Families that have to adapt to greater economic stress () and increased environmental stress (income volatility, housing discrimination) tend to do so to talk less to their children, which can affect their language growth.

Research shows that high quality child care helps buffer against these risk factors as well as against individual risk factors. For example, domestic instability in early childhood it has been shown to lead to worse cognitive and social outcomes at the age of five. Go to or spending time with a caretaker, however, can substantially reduce that impact.

This suggests that children from the most disadvantaged families gain the most benefit from early childhood education and care. But chronic underfunding from the early years education presents an important barrier. Government investment is therefore a powerful way to alleviate the socio-economic situation inequalities.

Lower income families, which have been disproportionately affected infections, atur, mental illness i deaths during the pandemic: all the stressors that can affect domestic interactions with children. Our findings provide evidence that access to early childhood education and care is important for everyone. , and is an effective way to address inequality. Therefore, government investment is crucial.


Sustainable funding is needed to provide places in nursery schools


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Citation: How Child Development Has Been Affected by the Loss of Children Due to COVID: A New Research (2021, July 6) Retrieved July 6, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07- nursery-due-covid-affected-children .html

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