The Early Childhood Workforce in Times of COVID-19 – Are they adequately supported?

Date: May 28, 2020

Time: 14:00

Date: May 28, 2020

Time: 15:30

Time: 14:00 - 15:30 CEST

Perhaps now, more than ever before, during this COVID-19 crisis, the pivotal role that early childhood services and their workforce have in society is increasingly acknowledged. 

Closing most of the early childhood services and moving them from the in-person interaction to support from a distance, has been an enormous shift with many consequences for children, families, and also services.  There are some which stayed open so that they can continue to provide support to children and families, and currently, in many countries, there are many discussions about re-opening them.

The early childhood workforce has been at the very core of this challenging situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Job insecurity, lack of financial support, lack of infrastructure for distance interaction, lack of guidance on how to continue their work are only some of the critical issues that the workforce is facing in these times. In the meantime, they are the ones who know how essential it is to ensure safety, good nutrition, quality interactions and experiences, continuity, and support to young children’s learning and development. They are also the ones who are keenly aware of how critical it is to ensure that parents, especially the most vulnerable ones, are well supported in their parental roles. A great deal of pressure, responsibility, and anxiety surround the early childhood workforce, at a time when young children and parents need them more than ever.

In this webinar we will learn from the experience of Norway, and South Africa as we explore the following questions:

  • What measures have been taken to protect and support the early childhood workforce who operated from distance or worked in services that remained open during this crisis? 
  • What plans are in place for the re-opening of childcare and education services? To what extent do they provide protection and support to the workforce?

Panelists and Moderators:

Sissel Havre (Norway) - Senior Advisor, Education and Research, Union of Education
Grace Matlhape (South Africa) - Chief Executive Officer, Smart Start


Joan Lombardi  - Director, Early Opportunities
Mihaela Ionescu - Program Director, ISSA - the International Step by Step Association



Read the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative's COVID-19 Position Statement: 
Five Priority Actions to Protect, Support and Strengthen the Early Childhood Workforce