Families should keep their enrolments live, regardless of pandemic, CQ ECT says
Despite the withdrawal of the Early Childhood and Care (ECEC) Relief Package, and economic challenges posed to families as a result of COVID-19, Australian families should stay enrolled in ECEC services, CQUniversity Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) Jasmine Jeffrey has said.
Ms Jeffrey expressed her concern that families may withdraw from ECEC now that fee provisions have been removed, and this could be detrimental to children’s development, wellbeing and behaviour.
“We allow growth and development through a supportive play-based learning environment where (children) can imaginatively engage with people, experiences and the environment to promote their holistic development,” she explained.
Children may miss out on important learning opportunities in the years before school, she continued, saying that while ECEC fees can be a large household expense, parents should “make a smart investment into ECEC that focuses on children’s development for life-long learning.”
“For most children, their home environment is the main influence on language and cognitive development in the early years, however, early childhood education services support skills that are necessary for the transition to school – including overall wellbeing, brain development, capacity to learn, social skills, relationship building skills and their resilience in adjusting to challenges,” she said.
The disruption from COVID-19 may have caused changes to family’s normal daily routines which Ms Jeffery discouraged as shifts in a child’s routine, such as removing them from regular care, can be detrimental to their development as consistency gives a sense of security and emotional stability.
“An abrupt change can often impact on a child’s behaviour due to increased stress, fear and anxiety. Children can be supported during this time by trying to keep as much of their normal routine the same where possible” she continued.
With over 20 years’ experience as a former Early Childhood Educator, Director and Kindergarten Teacher, Ms Jeffrey said she hoped parents would continue to appreciate the impact of their services as we enter a ‘new normal’ post-pandemic.
“We are a key place of wellbeing for many families, so we hope communities will continue to support us in the future so we can support the children.”