The 24th of July, OMEP held the webinar “How to deal with COVID-19 in ECEC- Impact of the pandemic on Early Childhood Physical and Mental Wellbeing” with the coordination of OMEP’s World President- Mercedes Mayol Lassalle and keynote presentations from two specialists who have medical, psychological, and pedagogical expertise on children: Raúl Mercer MD MSc and Jessica N. Essary, PhD.
Dr. Jessica N. Essary, is a North American Pedagogue, Associate Professor of Education and the Inclusive Education Program Director at Cazenovia College. Jess is a representative at the UN headquarters in New York, with Maria Pia Belloni, Judith Wagner, Donna Akilah Wright, Patricia Hanley and Kimberly Ann Kopko.
Dr. Raúl Mercer is an argentinian pediatrician, Master in Epidemiology, Coordinator of the FLACSO Social Sciences and Health Program, and Member of the Lancet-WHO-UNICEF Commission on: A future for the world’s children.
Dr. Mercer discussed the concerns of the world of social pediatrics regarding the consequences of COVID-19 on children’s health and wellbeing. Also, pointed out three aspects to be taken in mind: a) The place of childhood in the pandemic; b) The effects of the current pandemic on the rights of children, and c) The modalities of response from the field of social pediatrics.
Dr. Essary considered routines that children maintained before Covid-19 that suddenly changed when the pandemic hit the world. She presented some categories related to the ideas and representations of young children about the pandemic and the explanations that they obtain from adults. Finally proposed strategies to protect children’s rights while maintaining their socio-emotional health, analyzing how to deal with physical distancing with early childhood, the uses of technology and the efforts for learning continuity, taking into account stressor factors for children and adults.
The presentations of the panelists were enriching through some questions related to their field and perspectives on this issue. In the last part, Mercedes Mayol Lassalle connected some of the ideas from the panlists with the recent OMEP’s Position Paper “Early Childhood Education and Care in the time of COVID-19” that the Executive Committee have published.
Thank you very much to all the participants that accompanied us during the seminar, your words, questions and comments had been very valuable.
OMEP’s Position Paper in English: https://worldomep.org/file/Position_Paper_covid_EN.pdf
To watch the full Webinar online: