CDAs are Key to Stemming COVID-Related Learning Loss

November 16, 2020

A clearer picture is emerging as we enter the ninth month of COVID-19 restrictions. From the initial lockdowns to the on-going need for social distancing and mask wearing, we’ve all been affected.

Data and public opinion polls help us understand the full impact and how those who’ve earned the Child Development Associate® (CDA) can play an important role. For instance, the Pew Research Center found that “Parents of children who are not yet school age, much like parents of school-age children, have concerns about their children’s development as a result of disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.”

The key findings are:

  • Nearly half (47%) of parents of children who are preschool age or younger say they are more worried now than before the outbreak about their young children falling behind in developing social skills.
  • A smaller percentage are more concerned now than before about their young children falling behind in developing language skills (30%) and physical or motor skills (24%).
  • A majority of parents of children who are not yet school age say they’re about as concerned as they were before the coronavirus outbreak about their children’s development when it comes to physical or motor skills (62%) and language skills (59%); 46% say the same about social skills.

We know that CDAs have knowledge of how to put the CDA Competency Standards into practice and understanding of why these standards help children move with success from one stage to another. Put simply, CDAs know how to nurture the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of children.

In regard to parents’ concerns about social skills, it’s important to note that a significant goal of the CDA Competency Standards and Functional Goals is to “support social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance.”

The Council’s “Essentials for Working with Young Children” provides strategies and tactics for educators to “model the joys of friendship” to their students. Right now, educators can apply these same lessons by explaining to children that even though we have changes in how we are friends, such as no hugging, it’s still good to have friends and waving to someone is a safe way to interact.

Over 800,000 CDAs have been issued to early childhood educators during its 45-year history; now, more than ever, we need to rely on their expertise. CDAs can help in developing a child’s social skills as well as reassuring parents that these skill levels can still be reached during this challenging time.

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