The learning and development milestones for preschool children across India have taken a severe hit due to Covid-19. According to a survey conducted by EuroKids International with pre-school parents, as the Covid-19 pandemic caused the early closure of schools in March and resulted in disrupting the 2020 academic year, they are quite worried about their children losing out on learning as a result, and believe that it is very important to keep a child’s education going during this pandemic.
According to the survey results, a high degree of parental concern towards continued education is evident as 95% of the parents have enrolled their child in some form of learning – online or home schooling, to ensure continuity in their education. When asked how long children spend learning during a week, 43% of the respondents stated that children spend between one to three hours a week learning, while 37% stated that children spend more than three hours learning.
A key factor in online learning for toddlers is the involvement of parents and the amount of time they spend with their children in the learning process. When asked about how much time parents spend on their child’s education in a week, 43% of the respondents stated that they spend more than three hours a week, which indicates that almost all the learning for young children requires the aid of their parents. 42% of the respondents revealed that they dedicate one to three hours a week for their child’s learning. An in-depth look into the responses showed that this is a point of problem for many parents and that they have to dedicate an inordinately large amount of time on their children’s learning, which includes online classes, then the related homework and additional activities.
33% of the respondents felt that when pre-schools open, a single shift preschool of 2-3 hours daily would be most appropriate for their child, while 20% of the respondents stated their preference for the pre-school to have a double shift with smaller batches, for example two hours daily for separate batches in the morning and afternoon. Over 70% of the parents also stated that they would continue/choose online learning (led by the teacher and supplemented by the parent), in case schools do not reopen in the next six months, while 22% would seek a home schooling option, by the parent, perhaps with teacher support.
As pre-schools were shut down a year ago, parents have found that online learning has been a viable substitute for their toddlers to avoid a near zero-learning year for their children. When asked about the achievement of learning outcomes of their children, parents cited that their children were able to grasp pre-academic skills such as recognizing colours, printed names, letters of the alphabet, numbers, etc. more than any other skills. The survey also reveals that many parents believe that while academic learning is being somewhat managed and learning outcomes therein are being addressed, parents are more worried about their child’s social and physical development. As per the survey findings, 80% of parents who had enrolled in online pre-schooling saw delivery of clear learning outcomes and 75% of these parents were willing to recommend online pre-schooling to their friends and families.
The EuroKids International survey was conducted by The Hearth Education Advisors across 10 cities with 1,082 parents. The research study was conducted in detailed Qualitative and Quantitative phases. Here, insights were gathered through the qualitative probes and to provide an understanding of what parents of toddlers feel about the learning pathway of their children.