This series of blogs will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on the ECD sector. To provide a balanced view of the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, we will be presenting perspectives from the Departments and Units of the Early Child Commission along with perspectives from a parent, teacher and principal.
Today’s blog feature is from Natoya Davidson. She is a parent and has a four-year-old child who attends Faith Mission Early Childhood Development Centre in Sydenham, St. Catherine.
ECC: Thank you Ms. Davidson for taking part in this interview and sharing your views about the impact of COVID-19 on the early childhood development sector.
ECC: In what ways have COVID-19 affected your child’s ECI?
ND: My child’s school has been closed since the first case was announced. The school has lost revenue which has affected the school and teachers.
ECC: How have you been coping with the closure of school due to COVID-19?
ND: It’s been a challenging time since schools have been closed. I noticed that my child was beginning to forget some of the things that he had learnt during school year. I am an essential services worker so I was not able to stay at home to monitor my child as much as I would have liked. His nanny, who is elderly, cares for him in my absence and is not as technologically savvy as required for virtual learning.
In the instances where I was able to support my child’s learning at home, I did not feel confident in how I was relaying the information as I am not a trained early childhood teacher. I did not learn the techniques to effectively relay information to a child at this age. The teachers and caregivers at my child’s school are better skilled to support my child’s education and were doing so before school closures.
However, during the lockdown period, I was able to observe some of the online teaching techniques of his teacher, in terms of how to relay information to young children. I feel confident to support my child now that schools are closed again as I am employing the techniques that I observed from his teacher to support his learning. Additionally, my child is still in the groove of learning remotely and I will need to ensure that I maintain his zeal for learning. I have learnt a lot from this experience and I practice refreshing his learning on the weekends with 10-15 minute sessions.
ECC: How has/have your child/children been coping with the closure of school due to COVID-19?
ND: My child was concerned about schools closing, he asked why he was not going to school. He also regularly moped and cried that he missed his ‘Aunties’ and classmates/friends. He was however excited about the fact that he could sleep in late and he enjoyed playing on the computer.
ECC: What is your hope for the children in a post-COVID-19 world?
ND: My hope is that children will appreciate the importance physical interaction with each other and that once the pandemic is over, there will not a be need for them to spend so much time on computers as this is the norm now for sharing information with each other. I also hope that children will continue to learn and comply with hygienic practices and understand their role in protecting themselves from contagious diseases.