Research Articles (English)

A Delphi Study to identify strategies to mitigate the adverse impact of COVID-19 on children under the age of five in Wales

Authors: Cathryn Knight orcid logo (University of Bristol) , Jacky Tyrie orcid logo (Swansea University) , Tom Crick orcid logo (Swansea University) , Margarida Borras Batalla (Manchester Metropolitan University)

  • A Delphi Study to identify strategies to mitigate the adverse impact of COVID-19 on children under the age of five in Wales

    Research Articles (English)

    A Delphi Study to identify strategies to mitigate the adverse impact of COVID-19 on children under the age of five in Wales

    Authors: , , ,

Abstract

The COVID-19 global pandemic has caused widespread impact on education across all settings and contexts, including early childhood education and care (ECEC). In Wales, it is estimated that roughly three-quarters of children under the age of five (c.155,000 children) were impacted by the closure of ECEC settings. While literature is still emerging on the long-term impact of the pandemic on children under five, little research has explored the potential strategies to mitigate these adverse impacts. This research project used the Delphi method to investigate what experts and ECEC practitioners believe are the most effective strategies to mitigate the adverse impact of the pandemic on children under five, using Wales as a national-level case study. Between May and September 2021, three consecutive surveys were distributed to study participants, who were identified as ECEC experts (n=39). Furthermore, alongside the traditional Delphi study a one-off anonymous online survey was also sent to the wider ECEC practitioner community in Wales (n=378). The dominant theme within the strategies suggested by the study participants was the importance of high-quality play experiences. The importance of universal provision and quality support for practitioners and families was also highlighted. These themes were dominant in both expert and practitioner groups, despite consensus not being found between them. This paper presents and critically explores these identified themes, providing the foundation for replication and portability of this work and its outcomes to ECEC settings in other nations and jurisdictions.

Keywords: Early childhood education and care, ECEC, COVID-19, Wales, Delphi method

How to Cite:

Knight, C., Tyrie, J., Crick, T. & Borras Batalla, M., (2023) “A Delphi Study to identify strategies to mitigate the adverse impact of COVID-19 on children under the age of five in Wales”, Wales Journal of Education 25(2): 1, 8-35. doi: https://doi.org/10.16922/wje.25.2.2

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Published on
15 Dec 2023
Peer Reviewed