Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Lockdown Effects – ‘Not the Same Child At All’

By: DR. SUZANNE EGAN

Wednesday 08 July 2020


Many children’s lives have changed dramatically in recent months due to the COVID-19 crisis. Researchers in Mary Immaculate College launched an online survey of parents of children aged 1-10 years in May 2020 to explore how these changes have affected children’s play, learning and development. The preliminary findings suggest that some children will need a lot of additional support in the coming months, which has implications for those who care for them. 

The Play and Learning in the Early Years (PLEY) Survey measured play activities at home, the factors that influence it and the impact of some of the restrictions on children. Over 500 parents completed the survey between 21 May and 3 June 2020. The initial findings indicate the closure of schools, creches, playgrounds and restrictions on physical movement and interactions has had a number of effects on many aspects of children’s lives, including on their play, their social relationships and emotional development.

The responses from most parents of children aged 1 to 5 years indicated that their child’s play has been affected by the restrictions (74%). Many children are spending more time on outdoor play than before the restrictions were introduced (78%), and also more time on screens (75%). A third of children in this age group have brought information about the virus or restrictions into their play. For example, one parent said “She wipes things down after seeing me do it” (Age 1), while another said “Play house - I asked to come in and he said I couldn’t because of the virus” (Age 3).

In addition to the effects that the restrictions have had on children’s play, there have been social and emotional effects also. Most of these young children are missing childcare (67%), their friends (84%) and playing with other children (84%). More worryingly, some parents have described their young child’s low mood, frustration and behaviour changes as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. For example, in relation to the changes parents have said:

  • “My daughter was attending creche. She was very out going and loved seeing her friends. Now she has become very very attached to mum and is cautious at first when she sees some one out of the family home. Before the virus she used to be so out going”. (Age of Child: 2 years, 6 months)
  • “Difficulty seeing people. Finds it strange to spend any time communicating with other people that are not her direct family members” (Age: 2 years, 6 months)
  • “She seems more subdued and wants to go to bed often” (Age: 2 years, 3 months).
  • “He is very spaced out, not the same child at all” (Age: 3 years, 1 month).
  • “He's sad and less willing to share” (Age: 4 years, 5 months).
  • “Emotionally a lot more demanding and behaviours have reverted to that of a younger child. Also he had speech issues which had much improved after speech therapy but this has also regressed” (Age: 5 years, 1 month).

The DCYA public health advice, and existing and new hygiene practices are of paramount importance for the safe reopening of early years settings in Ireland. However, children will likely be returning to a somewhat changed physical environment, with restrictions for health and safety reasons placed on who they can interact with, what they can play with and what they can do. This will be a further change for young children on top of the many other changes they have recently experienced, including for some the death of a family member. Many children returning to childcare in the coming weeks may not be the ‘same child at all’ that left childcare in March.

The play pod model proposed in Ireland will hopefully fulfil the aim of supporting ‘close, positive interactions between children and their adult caregivers’. However, the nurturing and responsive high quality care provided by early childhood professionals, alongside that of parents and health and social care professionals where needed, will be essential in supporting young children through this challenging period.

 

For useful advice and suggestions for early years professionals please see the recent blog ‘Pod Talk’ by Milica Atanackovic

PLEY Survey: Data analysis on the PLEY Survey is ongoing but some additional information on the early findings is available here

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Teamwork(1) Frustrations(1) Traditions(2) Large Doll Play(1) Inspired Practice Award(6) Nutrition(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Trade union(1) School Age Childcare(1) Trade Unions(1) Learning Stories Award(3) inspiring interactions(1) Cork(1) MECPI(1) Stress(2) Anthony Semann(1) Line-ups(1) environments(1) Time(1) outdoor environment(1) Budget 2019(2) Independence(1) Treasure(1) Interactions(3) Supernanny(1) Exploratory Play(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) research(6) outdoors(4) education system(1) memories(1) Administrative Burden(1) Exclusion(1) Training(2) mental health problems(1) Budget 2020(1) IGL(1) animals(2) Scéalta Book Review(1) Anxiety(2) European Project(1) Awards 2018(3) Magnavacchi(1) Settling in(4) Syria(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Performing(1) Capable(1) supportive environments(2) early childhood educator(2) E.coli(1) Celebrate(1) worries(1) democracy(1) experience(1) Change(1) babies(7) conference(1) quarantine(1) Ariana Pucci(1) education(2) learning bias(1) early years research(2) Jillian van Turnhout(1) feisty(1) Appreciation(1) keep in touch(1) Technology(3) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) Event Guide(1) Looking Forward(1) Study Trip(1) behavioural science(1) budget(1) Valentine's Day(3) movement behaviours(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Equality(1) Horizon 2020(1) Eritrea(1) Brain(1) Thinking(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) racism(1) baby room(1) Buddy Bench(1) Seanchaí(1) Belonging(3) Loss(1) Affordability(1) Flowers(1) National Awards 2018(2) Hand Hygiene(2) an post(1) Leprechauns(1) Orla Kenny(1) Fantasy play(1) Qualifications(1) National Annual Awards 2020(1) Weather(1) Sequins(1) Potential(1) annual conference(1) iOS(1) Funding(1) Early Years Education(1) Mo Scéal(1) College(1) Wonder(1) Siolta blog(8) Names(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) GDPR(1) play pods(2) curiosity(3) Vietnam(1) listen(1) MA(1) National Pyjama Day(1) bloom app(1) Awards(2) Culture(2) peer group(1) friendships(1) aistear blog(3) Bereavement(2) emotional well-being(1) Communications(1) Return to Work Training(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) science(3) Grief(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) Pedagogy(2) Maths(6) early years learning(1) Competent(1) Early Years Educators(3) Confidence(1) Opportunities(1) Elders(1) Universal Design(2) Rising to the Challenge(2) Youtube Series(1) play stories(2) Recycle(1) early childhood(1) role playing(1) Pobal(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) family time(1) Early Learning and Care(1) listening(1) CCTV(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) EECERA(1) mushrooms(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Mealtimes(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Pretend Play(1) educating(1) EM Standing(1) Socioemotional development(1) Window(1) Fee Play(1) coronavirus(1) responsive relationships(1) food(1) Kindness(1) Wilenski(1) structure(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Investment(2) Autism(4) Maria Montessori(1) blog(53) planning(1) Japan(1) Children's Research Network(1) Routines(2) Counting(1) Thank you(1) staying connected(1) Kindness Challenge(1) Oireachtas(1) preschool(4) Care-giving routines(1) Creative(1) collaboration(1) Shoes(1) Christmas Creativity(2) code of ethics(1) Storytelling(7) Smiles(1) Certificate(1) Children's Rights(3) toddlers(3) Lego(2) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Wrapping paper(1) Blocks(1) Exercise(1) stories(3) ECEC(3) Childcare(3) NCCA(3) Síolta(137) Child mental health(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Playschool(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) reopening ireland(1) New Appointments(1) Policy(2) Mental Health(4) children development(1) SPICE Framework(1) play(35) purpose(1) june29(1) The Jelly King(1) Your place(1) Queues(1) Reopening Childcare(1) Mantra(1) Employee(1) curriculum(5) Glitter(2) dining(1) Super Shed Stories(2) Decisions(1) Self Help Skills(1) Treasure Chest(1) educarer(1) Breathing(2) Thanks(1) Craft(1) Patterns(1) First 5(1) Awards 2019(1) Running(1) Reading Time(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) learning hub(1) San Miniato(4) Kids Own(1) social media policy(1) Mixed age groups(3) TOY Programme(1) Academic Skills(1) online training(1) Laugh(1) science week(2) EECERA 2016(1) social media(2) Dr. Emer Ring(1) DCYA(6) STEM(3) Early Childhood Education(1) Creativity(6) Masterclass(2) Snakes(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Digital(1) Buddies(1) Cognitive development(1) imotion(1) Through the looking glass(1) United Nations(1) ECEC Setting(2) Dance(1) Impact(1) Iceland(1) Self-Esteem(1) Trigonometry(1) Story(2) bonds(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) Self-regulation(1) Titles(1) Quality(4) Mathematicians(1) Mud kitchens(1) multi-generational community(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) journey(1) Twitter(1) meals(3) ICBN(1) Wesco(1) Jenga(1) parents(6) interacting(2) Proceedings Journal(1) life long learning(1) Shapes(2) art of the relationship(1) Engineers Week(2) Visitors(1) Laughter(1) Child Care(1) DES Inspection(1) routine(2) Magda Gerber(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Imagination(3) Childhood(1) Role play(1) Interests(1) Home Corner(1) Graduation(1) Early Years(1) Sleep(1) Malaguzzi(1) overhear(1) eating(1) child-centred approach(1) InspireMe.ie(1) healthy eating policies(1) Awards Night(1) Recycling(2) early life(1) Arlene Forster(1) Advocacy(1) Children and families(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Relaxation(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Pre-School Services(1) outdoor space(3) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Love(3) Tuscan Approach(2) Exploring(1) Music(3) CIT(1) respect(5) First 5 strategy(1) Educators(2) Book Club(2) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Gardening(1) Loving Relationships(2) Online(1) Pen green(1) continual professional development(1) outdoor play(6) dublin(2) UD(1) Party(1) AsIAm(2) Sweets(1) Time Out(1) Fabric(1) Diversity(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Inspections(1) Iraq(1) Degree(1) early years settings(1) Budget 2018(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) social science(1) Meet the Members(1) Maynooth(1) Covid pandemic(2) lockdown(1) Magic(1) Maynooth University(2) children’s learning(1) Nonverbal(1) Easter(1) documentation(4) Painting(1) under 3's(3) Inter-generational learning(2) Little Buddies(1) Irish guidelines(1) youdoodle(1) Covid response(2) Learning Stories(9) play therapy(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) World Health Organisation(1) NAEYC(1) dining experiences(1) Wendy Lee(3) child-centric(1) books(4) Obesity(1) Inter-generational(2) International Narratives(1) ELC(1) Small World Play(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Scents(1) Map(1) gender bias(1) Plants(1) childcare services(1) INTO(1) apps for children(1) refugees(1) Reggio Emilia(2) Nuturing interactions(1) Sustainability(3) Children(4) Aistear(130) Mayo(1) Leadership(1) Looking Back(1) Ceremony(1) UNICEF report(1) Mindfulness(3) Penguins(1) Environment(2) learners(1) Prexit(1) ECCE(7) man up(1) Our Little Seed(1) pets(1) RTE Investigates(1) Sport(1) phone apps(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) story time(2) Exit interview(1) Performance Management(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Maths Week(1) Research Conference 2019(1) dogs(1) relationships(18) Irish(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Special Needs Assistants(1) Rich Documentation(1) Montessori(3) Confident(1) National Awards 2019(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Sustainable(1) Challenges(1) Halloween(2) Light table(1) risk(2) Engagement(1) democratic citizens(1) Human Resources(1) Visual Impairment(1) Positivity(1) awards 2020(1) UNCRC(2) Inclusion(3) Reflective Practice(1) Síolta QAP(1) development(8) National Holiday(1) Biting(1) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) AIM(2) Valerie Gaynor(1) Traffic Lights(1) Research Seminar(1) play pod(1) Well-Being(10) Primary School(3) ECIAwards20(1) COVID-19(14) annual awards(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Playdough(1) Rituals(1) Graduate(1) Feeding(1) Learning Journal(2) Afghanistan(1) creche(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) transitions(10) Body Language(1) Plastic(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Motor neuron disease(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Leargas(1) Touch(1) primary education(1) Mark Twain(1) christmas(9) developing motor skills(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) emotional environment(2) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) gender stereotype(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Snack Time(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) ears(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Inspirational(2) Intention(1) Participation(2) conversations(1) Family(1) Drawing(2) CPD(1) Staff Motivation(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Meal time(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Albert Einstein(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Health(2) Document Learning(1) UN(1) Community involvement(1) Building Resilience(1) Reggio(1) grandchild(1) Covid19 crisis(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Seas Suas(1) Identity(5) Support(1) ReCreate(2) General Data Protection Regulation(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Limerick(1) reopening(1) HR(1) Italy(1) Care routines(1) Trick or treat(1) Sessional service(1) Games(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) emotions(2) Social Skills(1) Winter(1) TRAP(1) Inspiring Practice(1) scéalta(56) Design(1) learning(19) Infection Control(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Engineering(3) Academics(1) Vertical grouping(1) Kerry(1) maternity health(1) trust(4) National Research Conference 2019(1) communication(4) Photographs(1) Spiders(1) Learning Story(1) Interaction(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Exploring and Thinking(1) playleader(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) pablo(1) Children's Voice(1) Celebrations(4) Whole Group(1) linc(1) Communicating(1) ERASMUS+(3) Mount Everest(1) risk assessment(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Empathy(1) PIP(1) Covid-19 lockdown(1) GoToMeeting app(1) RIE philosphy(1) Book Review(1) Family wall(1) Adoption(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Workplace well-being(1) Digital Devices(1) Upcycling(1) Giraffe(2) Norway(2) Sociodramatic play(1) Infectious diseases(1) Favouritism(1) Workplace Relations(3) SAC(1) Arithmetic(1) Learning journals(1) Online Research Symposium(1) Consent(1) Behaviour(3) Liz Kerrins(1) show and tell(1) Professionalisation(5) Kilkenny(1) Summer(1) code of professional responsibility(1) community(5) Sculptures(1) risky play(2) value(1) Facebook(1) Decision Making(1) Scéalta Blog(104) preschool settings(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Maternity Leave(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Gratitude(1) Workforce(1) reading(5) Margy Whalley(1) Arts(1) keezy(1) Snacks(1) research submissions(1) Yoga(1) Santa(2) Early Childhood Ireland(10) Builders(1) Death(2) Learning through Storytelling(1) University(1) Art(6) Xbox(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine