Language, expression, emotions… According to a report by British childcare workers, the pandemic is having an impact on young children’s ability to learn.
DTwo years into the pandemic, a study attempted to measure the impact of back-to-back deliveries on young children’s ability to learn. The results are rather worrying. Passed on by the Guardiana report recently commissioned by Ofsted (British Education Standards Office). In fact, many babies show delays in social and physical development.
Based on the work of 70 childcare professionals interviewed by Ofsted, the paper lists the following learning delays: abnormally limited vocabulary, difficulty responding to basic facial expressions (which in adults could be due to mask-wearing), but also delays related to the walking (leading to an increase in obesity) and speech.
“Children do not have the level of skills expected for basic learning: Cleanliness, tying shoelaces, dealing with others, putting on and taking off your coat…‘, sums up Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector of Ofsted.
Less social interactions due to restrictions
Amanda Spielman attributes these worrying delays to the back-to-back deliveries that have shaped the lives of British babies over the past two years. The latter would have had no opportunity to acquire certain “basics” of education due to the lack of social interaction, leading not only to a slowdown in their learning but also to lower self-confidence.
The report particularly highlights the difficulties in forming friendships between “Covid babies”.
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Another alarming phenomenon raised by the report’s authors is that the young children who are most affected by these learning delays are those who live in small apartments without access to a garden and therefore spend more time staring each day Spend eyes on a screen. .
To counteract the negative effects of lockdowns, Ofsted members therefore advise parents to encourage dialogue with their little ones as much as possibletaking them to parks so they “watch the world and get some exercise” (for children who can already walk or crawl).
In kindergartens, Amanda Spielman gives the example of setting up ‘talk groups’ specially created across the Channel to help children catch up on their language delay, or even card games to encourage them to express their feelings.
Of course, these suggestions apply to both British and French parents and children.
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