Guidance on Helping Parents to Promote Early Childhood Development in Times of COVID-19
In the wake of the threat of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), India has declared a 21-day lockdown to contain this global pandemic. This nation-wide lockdown has obligated parents and children to stay at home. With school closures, work from home or no work, the daily schedules of both parents and children have been disrupted. In these unprecedented and demanding times, parents and youngest children 0-6 years can be overwhelmed.
At this time, it is important to reach out to parents with accurate and pragmatic information and resources to help them cope with the new dynamics they and their youngest children find themselves in. Such information will also enable them to constructively interact with their children. It is important for parents to engage with and guide their children not only for COVID-19 disease prevention, but also their psycho-social wellbeing and continued learning. Parents, when properly supported and guided, can use this time as an opportunity to spend significant periods of interactive time with their children and focus on growing and strengthening relationships within the family (between parents and children, and between siblings).
Several development partners are working to create material for parents, some of which are given below. Furthermore, ECDAN has consolidated an up-to-date repository of many essential tools, materials and resources developed by different partners with regard to parenting during COVID-19 across the world.
We hope that these resources enable you to support parents to bring about changes in their homes that foster better interaction, communication and understanding of their children and that support early childhood development.
Arjan de Wagt
Chief, Nutrition Programme | UNICEF India #StopChildMalnutritionIndia