The pandemic has changed so many things in our day-to-day lives, the list is endless. One of the most significan impacts of the pandemic has been on children and families, especially working families. Jobs that were once office-based are now “at home” positions and schools that were once bustling with activity, are now a lot quieter. Parents have added the title of “teacher” to that LONG list of titles that they already hold. Hybrid learning and remote learning have been a huge change that has impacted children in many ways, the most significant being the development of social skills. Speaking from personal experience, trying to help my child with their Zoom meetings while also managing my workload, has been a huge challenge. I appreciate the fact that childcare centers are still providing programs for school-age children to attend while they are not in school with a staff that will support them during their hybrid learning days. This support with hybrid learning has been a saving grace for many families…including my own.
Humans by nature are social beings and the same is especially true for children. Not being able to see friends and peers every day can have a negative impact on a child’s development. Some parents have chosen to keep their children at home during the pandemic to either conserve finances or out of fear of exposure. Often, this decision has led to increased stress at home for both the parent and the child. Trying to accomplish day-to-day tasks is hard enough with a toddler at home but, throw in your professional duties with your job, and the challenges just compound.
Fortunately for young children and families, many childcare centers have remained open and operating. With increased safety and sanitation measures, as well as guidance from the DOH and the CDC, childcare has remained a proven safe environment for children and a saving grace for parents. Children that attend a childcare setting are less stressed and seem to navigate and express their emotions more effectively compared to children who are at home with limited contact with peers. Keeping a child’s routine during this pandemic has also been a positive factor in managing children’s emotional and mental health. Children need to play, explore, and engage with peers their age while also following a predictable and engaging routine, and parents need time to focus on their jobs and themselves.
Challenging children’s minds and keeping them engaged is a good distraction from what is happening in the world around them. Luckily for families, childcare centers offer talented, skilled, and educated teachers that are ready to welcome these children in each day with open arms, a warm smile, and plenty of opportunities for learning and fun.