COVID-19 Learnings research project

To better understand the experiences of the Early Childhood Education sector during COVID-19, the department started the ECE COVID-19 Learnings research project.

This research aims to document not only the challenges faced during the pandemic, but also the strategies that have enabled services to continue supporting the learning and development of children while operating in a COVID-19 environment.

In September 2020, services were asked to share their experiences with the NSW Department of Education via the COVID-19 Learnings survey.

There were 630 services who completed the survey, with 75% of services being located in Metropolitan areas. Most respondents were Directors and/or Nominated Supervisors, with 50% working at Long Day Cares and 30% working at Preschools or Mobile Preschools.

Services told us that during March-June:

  • Their enrolments and attendance decreased, especially in March. Many services were still experiencing low enrolments and attendance in June.
  • They were required to make substantial changes to educational programs and operational processes such as finances, risk management and health and safety.
  • Staff wellbeing was a significant concern, and support networks were crucial during this time.
  • They appreciated the financial support and information updates from the NSW Department of Education, however asked that information sources are streamlined for future communications.

The insights collected here are part of the wider COVID-19 learnings project and will be supplemented with focus groups with services and families to support the department in ongoing decision making. Additional findings from this project will be available in early 2021.

Read the full findings from the COVID-19 learnings survey (PDF, 972 KB)

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