Click here for the PDF: How early childhood education services helped children and their whānau
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused significant disruption to early childhood education, with early childhood education services having to quickly adapt to changing requirements and periods of uncertainty. During lockdown, services had to transition to supporting children to learn from their homes. After lockdown, they had to support children to return to services and continue their learning in a Covid-19 world.
The Education Review Office interviewed 400 services across the country from June through to August 2020 to understand how they responded. The research found that there were significant challenges for early childhood services to overcome and that services had risen to the challenge:
This short research excerpt shares the key findings and examples of good practice of how early childhood education services across New Zealand have responded to Covid-19.
“We feel that we have developed a deeper connection with parents and partnerships are more connected with them than before the lockdown.” – Service leader
“We did a video showing them [children, parents and whānau] what the transition would look like, how children will be brought into the service and the new routine - showing children that kaiako will take your bag, give it a spray, and would greet the child on the porch rather than being brought inside by mum.” - Service leader
“We were quite well prepared so as soon as they made the call [to go into lockdown] - we had packs made up with paper, pens and hot cross buns.” - Service leader
This summary is an early release from this research. ERO will release the full findings from its Learning in a Covid-19 World research programme early in the new year. This will include the impact Covid-19 has had on children and the practical actions early learning services can take in 2021 to support children, whānau, and kaiako with the ongoing challenges of Covid-19.