24 November 2020
The Childcare and Early Years Service (CEYS) are working with representatives from the childcare sector to understand the impact COVID-19 has had on childcare in Jersey.
The research project will gather the views of parents, the childcare workforce, and children themselves. Once the research is completed, CEYS, at the Department of Children, Young People, Education and Skills, will respond to the findings and outline recommendations for future working.
Alongside gathering the views of parents and carers, the project will also capture the views of children themselves through a mixture of confidential questionnaires, discussion groups and professional observation by childcare workers.
For babies and young children, childminders, nurseries and preschools have used an online observation system to document how children settled after lockdown, how they are adjusting to changes in routines, and how they express themselves in play, words and pictures.
For older children, childminders and playworkers in afterschool and holiday clubs have used discussion groups to encourage children to talk about their experience of lockdown, how they felt about returning to the club, and their hopes for the future.
Minister for Education, Senator Tracey Vallois, said: “I’d like to thank the CEYS team for undertaking this significant piece of research. We know that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on children and young people, and this research will help us understand how we can design a service that will best support families.
“I’d also like to thank the CEYS team, and the childcare sector, for ensuring that this research allows children to have their voice heard. Today, on Children’s Day, we talk about children’s right to participate in the matters that affect them. This research shows what that looks like in practice, and how our understanding can be enriched when we listen to children and young people.”
Nicola Mulliner, Head of Early Years, said: “COVID-19 has presented challenges for all, and our registered childcare providers have shown real strength and resilience throughout. They have adjusted how they work, shared experiences and understanding, and shown great flexibility, whilst also maintaining child-focused care and adhering to public health guidance.
“This research will, I hope, allow us to reflect on the impact this year has had on us all, through taking time to understand and learn from our experiences here in Jersey. This will enable the CEYS team to develop our regulatory work and harness our strengths, overcome future challenges, and building back better.
“I’d like to thank colleagues in childcare for their work this year, but also their support in ensuring that this project captures the real-life experiences of parents and children, too.”