Voices from the Early Childhood field

The Early Childhood team are extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of all their students to young children, their families and wider communities, particularly during this time.

Dr Charlotte Jones contacted several students to ask them about their current practices in Early Childhood, during Covid-19. You can see snapshots of some current students’ experiences below.

Georgina ~ Early Childhood Foundation Degree student, Year 1 (NWSLC)

Currently, my school is operating on a rota with staff going in once a week for the children of key workers. Whilst working from home, between myself and the class teacher we are doing daily phone calls to children to ensure they are happy and managing to complete the work that has been set for them. It is uplifting for the children and myself to be able to have a chat. Aside from this, the school are supporting families in need of help with food. We delivered lasagnes and treats to families over Easter and we offered a ‘fakeaway’ food service for the May bank holiday. The school has used technology to its advantage, getting us involved with videos, quizzes and even doing a dreaded TikTok!

Ami ~ Early Childhood Foundation Degree student, Year 2 (Warwick)

I currently work in nursery in a primary school as a level 3 teaching assistant and when this initially happened, as a setting we changed, we became both childcare /education provider. With this pandemic it has brought our setting and community closer in terms of working together as a team dealing with it together preparing online lessons tutorials or ideas for home learning on YouTube for our setting. Our setting is open to vulnerable and key worker children and they are coming to us weekly even throughout the holidays to support the key workers and vulnerable families. My role now is supporting the lead teacher and being a first aider and ensuring all children are looked after. I am so proud to be a part of the early childhood/education workforce because our work is valuable and rewarding when you see the children happy to be at the setting to have some normality in this abnormal life at the moment.

Charlie ~ Early Childhood Foundation Degree student, Year 3 (NWSLC)

Normally I work 4 days a week in Pre-school as speech and language lead. Our setting closed after the first two weeks of lock down due to the numbers of children attending so I no longer have face-to-face contact with my children and their families. We do however use tapestry to stay in touch and offer support. Using tapestry, we upload an activity each day and once per week I am uploading a simple chatter matters session that families can do at home. We are also in constant contact with families via tapestry messages and children and their families are able to send us pictures, videos and massages about what they have been doing.  When we get back to work I feel it’s important to allow the children time to settle into pre-school life and let them talk about and share their experiences and feelings. With the hope we return before the end of summer term, I feel the focus should be on preparing them for the transition to their new year. I feel extremely proud to be part of the early childhood education team because through these uncertain times we have been able to provide some consistency and security to the children that need it the most and the children of those that have been on the front line keeping the country going.

Clare ~ BA Early Childhood, Year 4 (Warwick)

I work in a primary school where I am a child specific teaching assistant. At the time when the schools closed, all teaching staff were asked to work from home and a rota system for duties in school to support vulnerable children and children of key workers was introduced. I have received direction from my class teacher to support the planning of work for the children at home as well as being provided with the opportunity and direction to resources to carry out online continuing professional development (CPD). We as a teaching team have been contacting the children in our cohort by email, sending out the week’s work as well as responding to all updates received from the children.

Furthermore, each child receives a telephone call from the teaching team once a fortnight to stay in touch and ensure they remain connected. I believe it will be important when we go back to school to first and foremost take the time to re-connect with our children again and provide any emotional support required prior to any focus on academic activities. If returning prior to the end of the academic year, transition work will need to be carried out for progression to the next academic year. This will provide the children with the stability to allow them to move forward with their academic studies with confidence. I am proud to be a key-worker at this time to provide support to vulnerable children and for children of other key workers as this has facilitated and enabled those other key workers to remain at their post and carry out vital work during this period. I am very much looking forward to returning to school; to get back to more normal operations, being with the children and working alongside my colleagues.

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