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OMEP position paper: Early childhood education and care in the time of COVID‑19

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Publication Date: 
12 Aug 2020

Excerpted from introduction

The International Journal of Early Childhood (IJEC) is published under the auspices of OMEP (World Organisation for Early Childhood Education). The aims of OMEP are to promote the rights of the child with a special emphasis on rights to education and care, worldwide. OMEP holds special consultative status with the UN and UNESCO.

In the difcult situations engendered by the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2020, OMEP has special concerns for children’s well-being. The global crisis has tested the political, health, and economic systems of many countries. In response, it is important to seek solutions through solidarity to help to prevent the spread of the virus and reduce its negative impacts for children and their families.

The OMEP Executive Committee has formulated a position paper: Early Childhood Education and Care in the Time of COVID-19. This position paper is presented below in English, French, and Spanish which are the three ofcial languages of OMEP.

Early Childhood Education and Care in the Time of COVID‑19

The early years are of vital importance, and State parties need to take special measures to protect children and to promote good living conditions based on the best interests of the child, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). In this time dominated by the global pandemic, there are additional risks for young children. The pandemic is not only a virus, it is a huge human crisis and it is verifed that children living in conditions of poverty, extreme poverty, and inequality have worsened their situation.

There are also indirect consequences that afect deeply children’s lives and development, such as family deaths, fear, confnement, hunger, physical estrangement, increased violence and abuse, lack of moments for play and movement, and excessive exposure to screens.

Although the contexts and everyday life for young children are quite diferent, OMEP wants to highlight certain crucial points in the best interests of all children and their well-being around the world.

State parties are guarantors of the fulfllment of the Rights of the Child and have the duty to implement the necessary policies to protect and support children and families, in collaboration with local authorities and organizations. Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) plays a fundamental role in this support.