Putting children at the heart of the Covid-19 recovery

Alongside over 150 organisations and individuals in the Early Years sector, we’re calling on the Prime Minister and his government to put children at the heart of the recovery post-Covid-19. To this end, we’ve signed the statement published by the National Children’s Bureau.

We firmly support the NCB’s statement. Covid-19 has had a huge impact on this generation. Our children and the education system have experienced serious disruption over the last few months. As we rebuild, we must think beyond short-term recovery, and use whatever we have learnt to create a better education system for future generations.

A child-led recovery

During this period of immense change, we must listen to what our children and their parents are telling us, and learn from them.

The Government must ensure that it not only has a strategy for keeping children physically safe from the virus, but that we put their mental and emotional wellbeing at the centre. This will only happen if children, parents, teachers and those working in the sector are consulted when planning for the future of education.

This means that we can work together to rebuild an education system that will allow children to recover, and ultimately thrive. Our recent research suggested that after two months of lockdown 69% of parents believe children should have more time for freedom and play at school, and 46% think their child is more responsive to learning with less routine and pressure. Montessori’s approach has always been to put children at the heart of education and learning; and these findings only reinforce the validity of a child-led approach to learning – but is the Government really listening?

The DfE last week announced that baseline testing at aged 4 has been postponed, which we support. This shows the Government has recognised that testing young children can have a negative impact on their wellbeing. But this brings in the question the validity of testing for young children even when times are “normal” – not just post-Pandemic. Can we bring children’s mental wellbeing to the fore more permanently?

Whether you are an individual, a family or an organisation, we invite you to share how you think the Covid-19 recovery can put #childrenattheheart – follow the #childrenattheheart and #powerofyouth hashtags on social media today.