The social development of a child has been one of the most predominant subject matter. Naturally, most children feel healthier (emotionally and socially) when they are among their peers because they gain the chance to communicate better and to play with one another.
Moreover, the ongoing pandemic, known as Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19), has reshaped the responses of most parents towards their children’s welfare. For instance, most parents, as a result of fear, feel it’s safer to keep their children at home at their early stages. Yet, the question is, ‘how does this affect the children’s emotional and social wellbeing?’
Due to several factors like jobs, academics, etc., some parents are left with no choice but to enroll their children in a child care center, even when they are still fully concerned about their safety. In this article, however, we will look at how a child care center can influence the development of a child during this COVID era.
Table of Contents
- Understanding a Child’s Growth and Development
- A Child’s Development Stages
- The Effects of COVID19 on a Child’s Development
- Definition of Child Care
- What is a Child Care Center?
- How a Child Care Center Influences a Child’s Development During COVID19
Understanding a Child’s Growth and Development
Growth involves a process whereby beings or things increase in size, dimension, or magnitude. For instance, a child experiences growth when his height and weight increases. That is, the physical parts of his body, which become obvious and noticeable.
Therefore, we can say that growth is measurable (it is quantifiable).
In contrast, development is a process of transformation, change, or adjustment that is determined by acquisition or innateness. That is to say, the development of a person depends on external impact or genetics. Unlike growth, development may not be noticeable except through proper assessment of the person who is developing.
Similarly, a child’s development encompasses the process of the child’s transformation. This transformation covers most areas of the child’s wellbeing, including, physically, socially, psychologically emotionally, and mentally. Moreover, all these areas of the child’s wellbeing rely on each other for his physical development.
For example, the physical growth of a child’s brain can determine the social, psychological, and mental well-being of the child. However, a child’s immediate environment also has a way of determining his development in most areas. For instance, the way a child is being treated by society or family can determine the way he relates to situations or people around him.
In a nutshell, a child’s growth and development are governed by internal or external impacts. This will further justify what the child thinks about himself and how he relates to his surroundings. In essence, his relation with peers, parents, teachers, caregivers, can determine his way of development.
A Child’s Development Stages
The need to understand the stages of a child’s development cannot be overstressed. The essence of understanding these stages is for parents and caregivers to be able to fathom how a child develops with time. Therefore, these stages include;
Infant Stage: Newborn to Age 1
At this stage, a child response is mechanically stimulated by external factors. In effect, the child gets hold of objects that touches his palm. He also moves his head when one touches his cheek or to locate a nipple.
Furthermore, the child demands his needs by crying.
Such needs could be to eat, to change a diaper, to sleep, or to be cuddled. They also try to take steps whenever you hold them upright on surfaces. Unexpected sounds (like a sudden noise) can also frighten them at this stage.
Most importantly, they recognize their parent, especially their mothers, through voices and smell.
Toddler: Age 1 to Age 3
Typically, at this stage, children can move from one place to another by crawling, or/and walking slowly. They can get hold of writing materials to attempt writing or drawing. Also, they can request what they want by pointing their fingers at it.
It is at this stage that most children say disyllabic words like ‘dada’ and they mostly babble.
By age 3, the child becomes physically grown in height and weight. Also, they know their caregivers and feel uncomfortable around people they are not familiar with. Besides, they can use the toilet, and eat on their own, get used to books, writing, drawing, and painting.
Amazingly, they also monitor adults’ actions and try to imitate them.
Preschool: Age 3 to age 5
At this stage, a child begins to master motor skills. That is, he can now comprehend puzzles, button or unbutton his dress, clap his hands, and among others.
School Age: Age 6 to 12
This is the stage whereby a child can identify his hobbies and become fund of responsibilities. Also, peer association becomes essential to him and he knows his best friend. Most importantly, the physical growth of the child becomes very obvious to people.
The Effect of COVID 19 on a Child’s Development
Most children respond to the impact of COVID19 based on the way their environment (family, school, etc.) presents it to them. In most cases, they do not understand the subject (COVID19) or the measures put in place, but they react to the effect of the subject.
For instance, Helena Thybell, the CEO, SAVE THE CHILDREN SWEDEN, states that;
“The vast majority of children reported an increase in the negative feelings due to COVID 19…There was a clear trend showing that the longer the schools were closed, the higher the rate of parents/caregivers reporting sleep changes, changes in appetite, changes in children’s ability to handle their emotions, as well as more aggressive behavior,”
It is generally known and understandable that parents have the responsibility to provide for their children’s need and to guide them. However, the ability to equally associate with friends helps to balance a child’s social and emotional welfare. It is one of their ways of socializing and anything that disrupts that may be attacking them emotionally.
Moreover, when children are safe and guided, they will also grow healthier. For instance, physical distancing, wearing of masks, evading crowds, are all necessary measures to be observed for a child’s safety as well. Therefore, one can say that COVID19 can affect the development of a child both positively and negatively.
The following outline amplifies this better.
The Positive Effects
Learning digitally has been confirmed to be fundamentally necessary and productive for education during COVID19. With the measures taken by UNESCO, distance learning has been made easier for children at school age and above through the use of digital devices.
According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, parents need to explain the subject of COVID19 to their children in details. This can help the children to develop a sense of awareness and empathy. Moreover, they will be able to understand the reason behind the COVID19 measures rather than exhibiting negative attitudes towards them.
The Negative Effects
As stated earlier, children naturally become happier when they are given the chance to associate with their peers. Although they feel happy around their parents as well, the fact remains that being around their peers gives them full joy. It boosts their social activities.
So, looking at the COVID19 measures, most children have lost social connection with friends as a result of physical distancing, or limited movement, and become lonely in the process.
Beginning from at least 2 years of age, children become aware of any slight changes around them. However, it is no doubt that a pandemic like a coronavirus can affect a child psychologically and as a result create fear in them. For instance, children may become unnecessarily skeptical about being around adults because of the fear of contracting the disease.
A survey conducted by UNICEF in 2020 revealed that;
“Out of 17,000 parents and 8000 children across 46 countries, over 80% of children and parents reported the issue of negative feelings as a result of the pandemic.”
As a result of being lonely, some children feel cheated. This can be because they do not understand what is going on around them. They are used to playing with their friends and peers and the inability to do so can generate behavioral change.
In effect, the children tend to be disobedient towards their parents and caregivers because they feel socially or emotionally degraded. Essentially, you must be aware that the negative impact of COVID19 on a child’s development can be avoided through proper child care. Therefore, we shall briefly look at the concept of child care below.
Definition of Child Care
The term child care can also be regarded as daycare. It is the official care and management rendered to a child or children of a specific age range by a caregiver at a given time. Child care could take place at the home of the child or the home of the caregiver.
However, our main focus in this article is the child care that takes place in a child care center, which also refers to center-based child care.
What is a Child Care Centre?
A child care center is an organization that has the responsibility of providing care for children, usually from infant to school age. These centers frequently render child care, either full time or part-time. However, their location varies; they could be close to schools, health centers, religious organizations, workplaces, or on their separate lands.
The main aim of a child care center is to deliver a very safe environment with adequate security for the children and caregivers.
How a Child Care Centre Influences a Child’s Development During COVID 19
Studies illustrate that good child care is knowledgeable at providing a child’s need, especially when it has to with the child’s relationship with another child. Therefore, one of the major goals of the child care center is to offer the children fundamental needs that will develop their social, emotional, and psychological wellbeing.
Though COVID19 has also been a major concern on children’s health, their social and emotional development is also important to their physical health.
Hence the following explains the benefits of a child care center on a child’s development, especially during this COVID era. They include;
1.The Emotional and Mental Benefit
The emotional and mental well-being of a child has a lot to do with his cognitive development. That is, it determines their thought pattern and how they comprehend things. In essence, the way a child is being nurtured can impact the way he grasps his environment.
Therefore, a child care center can influence a child’s emotional and intellectual development through the following ways;
Care and Respect
A child care center shows care and respect to children by paying attention to their need to help them feel safer and comfortable. Such gesture will also allow the children (especially from age 3 and above) to understand the concept of COVID19 and how the measures can enhance security.
Child care centers, mostly engage the children in academic and educational activities that can solidify them for formal school academic excellence. For instance, in some cases, these children are thought how to identify letters and numbers or do basic addition and subtraction. This will also help them to have a better performance as they begin their kindergarten.
Also, children who have attended child care centers will become more excited to attend formal school because they would have become acquainted with what it feels like to be among people of their age group and to engage in academic activities.
Furthermore, caregivers are skilled at helping children to read storybooks in such a way that the character’s emotions are demonstrated. This will help the children to relate what the stories portray to their own experiences. Additionally, to help the children understand better, the caregivers may ask them questions that relate to the stories.
2.The Social Benefit
A child care center can help a child to meet with other children, either older or younger or of the child’s age range. This will contribute to the child’s social wellbeing because he/she will have the chance to interact with his/her peers consistently. Besides, there are usually varieties of toys that the children can play with at centers.
Also, the children learn about social activities because child care centers give the children the ability to learn and as well play with one another. Aside from playing with their peers, interacting with the caregivers can contribute to the children’s social skills. This is because the caregivers assist them in using language to communicate better.
3. The Physical Benefits
Safety for the Children
A good child care center always put children safety first before any other aim. Therefore, the children will be well supervised, allowing their parents to rest assured that their children are in safe hands whenever they are working.
However, it is better to enroll children into child care centers that have been licensed. This is because licensed child care centers follow requirements on safety and rules on licensing and will properly observe the COVID19 measures.
This is another benefit of a child care center, especially those that are licensed. This is because some rules and regulations guide the variety of meals that must be provided to the children. Also, the physical wellbeing of children is one of the major priorities of a child care center. By doing this, they sing, dance, play games, and engage in other healthy activities. In case of allergies, there may be special nutritional needs for the children as well.
In conclusion, parents must note that the social and emotional wellbeing of a child contributes to his physical development. However, despite the ongoing Corona Virus Disease, it is still safe for you as a parent to enroll your child in a trusted child care service at Perfect Angels Learning Center.
Our caregivers assist children from infant to school age to sprout physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually. Amazingly, we are a licensed child care center that follows basic rules and regulations that benefits children’s wellbeing. Hence, to get more information about our quality operations, visit Perfect Angels Learning Center now.