The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on multiple important spheres, including the economy, healthcare, and business activities. However, in listing the negative consequences of the pandemic, the public usually misses the substantial damage caused to the educational system in general and to early childhood education in particular. This essay will explore the need for early childhood education formed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing policies.
Early childhood education faced several significant challenges that affected the education system’s performance even before the pandemic. Some of the challenges for the early childhood education in 2022 include teachers’ long working hours without sick days due to federal student-teacher ratios and teachers’ mental health problems that can negatively affect students’ progress (7 main challenges for early childhood education teachers, 2022). The lack of resources from the funding gaps in the education system and underpayment of educators present some other external challenges in early childhood education. In combination, the challenges negatively affect the attractiveness of the early childhood educator profession, which causes many young professionals (44%) to exit the field (7 main challenges for early childhood education teachers, 2022). Thus, despite playing a central role in establishing the foundation for children’s further development, the early childhood education sphere experienced significant difficulties even before the pandemic’s start.
Early childhood presents the main source of long-term physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development. According to Healthy People, early childhood education programs are critical in fostering the development of children (Early childhood development and education. 2020). During the pandemic, the critical function of the early education system in maintaining students’ progress has been disrupted. Similar to the ‘summer slide’ phenomenon characterized by a decline in students’ academic progress after the summer break, the pandemic negatively affected the key learning process on a larger scale. Concerning the importance of early childhood education for students’ long-term success, the negative effects of the pandemic on early education may appear much later.
In conclusion, early childhood education is critical for students’ long-time progress in establishing the foundation for further knowledge learning. Furthermore, the early childhood education sphere faces many challenges, and some of the challenges were significantly worsened by the pandemic. Therefore, early childhood education needs should be prioritized to ensure the success of future generations and eliminate the stress component which can negatively influence students’ mental health and stability.
7 main challenges for early childhood education teachers. (2022). College Values Online. 7 main challenges for early childhood education teachers. Web.
Early childhood development and education. (2020). Healthy People. Web.