International Narratives about COVID – 19 and Early Childhood
Theme and Rationale
This year’s EECERA Conference in Zagreb has been postponed to 2021 and in its place, EECERA’s Board of Trustees have decided to call ECEC colleagues and friends together for this online event.
This Convocation is being held during a time of extraordinary crisis for the world. The impact of COVID-19 on all aspects of society and on all members of our communities, from the very young to the very old, can be dramatic and life changing. Most countries are still struggling to control the virus which continues to escalate around the world whilst politicians and medics labour to contain it. The experience of COVID is certainly a uniting call for a rethink of the way we have been living, and a reminder that issues such as climate change, our interaction with nature, sustainable economies, and a fairer distribution of wealth and resources confront us all with a demand to change how we have been living. The pandemic provides our EECERA community with both immediate and longer-term questions and concerns. It also provides us with opportunities to rethink, recalibrate and renew our mission and our methods of engaging. This Convocation is intended to stimulate open and illuminative dialogues, the exchange of experiences, and the identification of productive responses to support young children and families as we navigate the profound challenges of this time. It provides a forum to explore contested positions, seeks plurality and multiple perspectives and collaboration not exceptionalism.
In this Convocation we aim to:
- share actions, research and strategies that have been taken in countries around the world to support young children and families, and those who work with them, during the pandemic;
- share plural narratives about the pandemic experience from children, parents, practitioners, providers and policy administrators;
- identify key challenges facing the early childhood sector;
- engage in critical and constructive dialogues about these responses and experiences which can inform and extend our understanding of the impact of the pandemic and how the early childhood sector might respond to the challenges it brings.
The Convocation is co-chaired by Prof. Chris Pascal (EECERA President) and Prof. Tony Bertram (EECERJ Coordinating Editor) and consists of five webinars over two days; it will focus on the following topics: The New ‘Normal: System Challenges; Perspectives of Staff and Settings; Perspectives of Children; Perspectives of Parents and Family; Perspectives on Pedagogy.
Each webinar comprises keynote presentation, panel discussion and a moderated Q & A session between speakers and attendees.
Part two of the Convocation (which we hope to run early in 2021) will focus on macro-issues: Digital Childhoods, Policy Initiatives; Economic Factors; and Global Sustainability Goals.