On June 22, 2020, Defending the Early Years released a survey to better understand the impact COVID-19 has had on young children, their families, and their teachers. Schools, centers, and childcare providers were forced to close their doors as the world implemented social distancing measures to slow the spread of the new deadly virus.
The Delhi government in India recently launched its preschool curriculum for the city’s 10,897 community-based preschool centers. The draft National Education Policy of India, made public in June 2019, dedicates its first chapter to the importance of early childhood care and education and the need to extend the right to education to every child who is three to six years old.
Parents have long struggled to find and afford child care that meets their needs; and child care businesses have equally struggled to balance the cost of providing quality, developmentally appropriate care with the limited revenues available to them.
Childcare is expensive and licensed center-based care is unaffordable for families of poor to modest means. There is broad public support for more government spending on childcare as long as that spending does not result in another unfunded entitlement that worsens the deficit.
Reducing the effects of significant adversity on children’s healthy development is essential to the progress and prosperity of any society. Science tells us that some children develop resilience, or the ability to overcome serious hardship, while others do not. Understanding why some children do well despite adverse early experiences is crucial, because it can inform more effective policies and programs that help more children reach their full potential.
This report comes at a time when the Australian economy is reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. More than at any other time, young Australians need to be prepared to face an uncertain economic and social future. The uncertainty they face increases the importance for education and training in Australia to foster the development of a broad range of knowledge and skills. To meet the challenges of the future, Australians must grow up resilient, adaptable and well-informed.
Research has shown that higher levels of self-control in childhood are associated with improved health and financial outcomes, life satisfaction and decreased levels of substance abuse and criminal convictions in adulthood (Moffitt et al., 2011). Based on this retrospective analysis, the positive development of self-control is of interest to policy makers looking to promote success across the health, education, economic and social domains in adulthood.
The COVID-19 crisis that has engulfed the world during 2020 challenges children’s education, care and well-being. Many parents struggle to balance their responsibilities for childcare and paid employment, with a disproportionate burden placed on women. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation of families had been described as ‘a global childcare crisis’.