Reasons Given by ECEC Professionals for (Not) Being in Contact With Parents During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Faculty/Professorship: Early Childhood Education and Care 
Author(s): Hemmerich, Fabian ; Erdem Möbius, Hande ; Burghardt, Lars  ; Anders, Yvonne
Title of the Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
ISSN: 1664-1078
Corporate Body: Frontiers Research Foundation
Publisher Information: Lausanne : Frontiers Media
Year of publication: 2021
Volume: 12
Issue: 08 November 2021
Pages: 21
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.701888
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the German government took drastic measures and ordered the temporary closure of early childhood education and care services (apart from emergency care). Most pedagogical professionals in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings were unable to provide institutional care for children during this period, and thus experienced difficulties fulfilling their legally mandated professional obligation to educate children. Building on the importance of professional–parent collaboration, this study investigates the reasons ECEC professionals gave for (not) being in contact with parents during the pandemic. The database comprises a nationwide survey conducted between April and May 2020 (n = 2,560 ECEC professionals). The results show that the vast majority of respondents were in contact with parents; their stated motives include providing informational or emotional support for parents and children, maintaining a relationship, or inquiring about family wellbeing. The explanations for not being in contact with parents include already existing contact with parents by another member of the ECEC staff, an employer-mandated contact ban, problems on the parents’ side, or personal reasons. We find some differences between managers in center-based childcare, pedagogical employes in center-based childcare, and professionals in family based childcare. Practical implications concerning professional–parent collaboration and the temporary closure of ECEC services are discussed.
GND Keywords: Kleinkinderziehung; COVID-19; Pandemie
Keywords: COVID-19, early childhood education and care, ECEC professionals, ECEC managers, professional role understanding, cooperation with parents, social support, pandemic
DDC Classification: 370 Education  
RVK Classification: DS 7130   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Open Access Journal: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 8. November 2021