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IOE Blog


Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


Early childhood: the changing face of parent-practitioner relations during the pandemic

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 28 October 2021

finelightarts / Pixabay

Rachel Benchekroun and Claire Cameron.

Lockdowns and other restrictions in England and around the world since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic have transformed the way parents and early childhood practitioners communicate. This is having significant implications for children’s development, learning and wellbeing.

Two linked studies at the UCL Social Research Institute examining environmental changes for children, parents and practitioners, in England, New Zealand, Senegal and Italy have been uncovering the multi-faceted and evolving roles of early childhood provision in supporting children and families.

Through interviews with practitioners and parents from a top-rated early childhood setting in a disadvantaged neighbourhood of London, we were able to identify shifts in the way communication took place during lockdown. Practitioners provided support to families through weekly phone calls to parents, Zoom calls to engage with the children and sharing ideas for activities at home on the ‘parent app’. One practitioner explained: (more…)

‘Tell me a story from your head!’ – working with parents to design an app to help spark ideas

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 1 May 2020

Sara Kalantari.  

Parents and children have been telling each other stories from time immemorial. In the extraordinary days we are living through, storytelling could take on increased importance, as families spend more time at home together seeking ways to make sense of this strange new world.

Studies have found that storytelling is embedded in family life from toddlerhood into adulthood. It strengthens the way children and parents jointly understand their culture and identities while introducing children to concrete and abstract concepts, relationships and information. In school it supports children’s verbal and listening skills, active participation and cooperation, imagination and creativity.

In the DROPS project our UCL team is designing a tablet-based app supporting oral (more…)