1. Project “The New Normal Model of Early Childhood Development Center”
2. The owner of the project
Mrs. Budsayarat Suedee and teachers from Early Childhood Development Center
Mrs. Ngamta Rodsonjai
Asst. Prof. Kaewta Nopmaneejumruslers, M.D.
Assoc. Prof. Adisak Plitponkarnpim, M.D.
3. Background and Significance of the Project
Early life development and early childhood development begin when the child is a fetus and continues to the age of 8, or equivalent to the first 3000 days of brain development which affect the human potential and health throughout human life. The health care and promotion system for early childhood is more than preschool education which aims at developing holistic health including physical, intellectual, mental, emotional, social, and safety. It builds a solid foundation for lifelong learning. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, wave 1 to 3, the early childhood development centers and kindergarten schools in most parts of the country were unable to provide daycare and education services. Therefore, the National Institute for Child and Family Development, Mahidol University organized the project “The New Normal Model of Early Childhood Development Center” to create a model for providing services for early childhood development centers and kindergarten schools to support the pandemic situation of COVID-19 and expand the results to improve social awareness.
The project of Broadcast Schedule Early Childhood Skills, Far Away from COVID-19, aims to introduce activities for parents to communicate via an online channel. In June 2020, we sent out a survey to the parents and found that 45 percent were unable to take care of their children. So, we had to reopen the school under the model of “new normal” services and expand this model to the network of early childhood development centers across the country. They can apply this knowledge to be used in the context of their own areas. Moreover, we organized a conference to exchange knowledge about early childhood issues in many dimensions together with our network of child caregivers. Our network has grown to
more than 10,000 persons by June 2021. For this project, we aim to succeed in child caring and promoting child development under the epidemic situation of COVID-19.
The Early Childhood Development Center has developed the project “The New Normal Model of Early Childhood Development Center” into an online course. The course is called, “The New Normal of Early Childhood Development Center and Kindergarten School, Wave 3.” We organized the activity in the form of a daily conversation program in order to cope with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and apply the knowledge of childcare and promotion of early childhood development.
4. Operations Process
4.1 The project of Broadcast Schedule Early Childhood Skills, Far Away from COVID-19 and the online learning project “Playing with Children, Playing Grandchildren to Develop the Brain for 3000 days” opened May 2020 when schools took a break as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Institute for Child and Family Development designed the activity project of Broadcast Schedule Early Childhood Skills, Far Away from COVID-19 and published this activity to parents via Line Application, CF Happy Family. We made the activity public in the form of a daily routine schedule focused on early childhood in order to enable the families to develop and promote child development at home. This activity covers early childhood development features such as; gross motor skills, fine motor skills, language development, emotional development, social development, and intellectual and cognitive development. We also made this activity public to other early childhood development centers across the country, including the community, parents, and other child caregivers who can use this program free of charge via social media systems.
4.2 New Normal of Early Childhood Development Center, the Year 2020. Parents began to return to work but they did not have a primary caregiver to take care of their children while they were away, and the schools were still closed. As a result, The National Institute for Child and Family Development had to find a new way to reopen the school under the New Normal service model. We developed an online pick-up and drop-off child system, health screening test system, COVID-19 screening test for children and family members, design an area for screening points of children before entering the classroom. In addition, the staff of the Early Childhood Development Center had to strictly follow the procedures and rules such as the procedure of child drop-off and pick-up in the New Normal style, design the classrooms in New Normal style by dividing the classroom into bubble groups and in each subgroup have no more than 10 children, and design the activity in New Normal Style.
The implementation of the project has been assessed using the COVID-19 saliva test to consider the efficiency of the process of establishing a New Normal of Early Childhood Development Center. We do the test two times, in the second week and in the fourth week of the operation. The results of the test showed that none of the children were infected with COVID-19 in either testing period.
4.3 The Network of Academic Exchange for Child and Family Development
The National Institute for Child and Family Development, Mahidol University has organized an academic conference on the topic of “New Normal of Early Childhood Development Center” in order to expand the knowledge to other Early Childhood Development Center from 25-30 June 2020 via an online channel. There are 2,423 participants from 74 provinces and 49 departments from the Early Childhood Development Centers in Nakhon Pathom Province and related agencies. After that, we also organized the academic meeting to exchange the knowledge every 1 month on Sunday, free of charge via an online channel. Currently, we have a child care network of over 10,000 people.
4.4 The New Normal of Early Childhood Development Center and Kindergarten School, Wave 3, the Year 2021
In the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Institute for Child and Family Development has launched an online course “The New Normal of Early Childhood Development Center and Kindergarten School, Wave 3” with the objective of making the early childhood development center, Kindergarten schools, families and communities follow the COVID-19 situation and prepare themselves to take care of children. They were told to keep up with rapidly changing disease outbreaks by sharing knowledge consistent with the COVID-19 situation in various dimensions such as early child care, risk management in Educational Institutions, proper activity implementation. In doing so, early childhood experiences were promoted and the awareness and understanding of the health impacts of early childhood were improved among parents, which in turn benefits caregivers. This project is a daily conversation with speakers and an exchange of knowledge through real experiences from the Early Childhood Development Center that lasts for 2 months. Moreover, when the situation becomes more normal, the institute will conduct a live broadcast of the actual operations and lead discussions through our network for the further development of children and families. This project is in currently being developed.
5. Result of the Project
1. Parents have gained knowledge on examples of developmental activities for early childhood development. This acts as a guideline for their continued childcare and development. The process of learning through playing is in line with the child’s developmental patterns while on a long break from school or having to stay at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This also provides the child with proper preparation for the beginning of the semester, which leads to reduced adverse online interactions, reduced parental stress, and improved family relations.
2. A detailed format for implementing activities that follow the COVID-19 prevention measures. These prevention measures detail how to avoid COVID-19 among children aged 1 year 6 months to 6 years old. It also expands the knowledge of child and family development among early childhood teachers and child care workers within the network.
3. A format to arrange classrooms into different bubbles to provide safe and effective areas for teaching. This format also includes a way to set up activities that promote the development of early childhood children while preventing exposure to COVID-19. Prevention methods include mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing.
4. A network of more than 10,000 childcare workers within the Early Childhood Development Center as of June 2021. We have grown from 2,500 workers.
6. Outcome/ Benefit
The project of Broadcast Schedule Early Childhood Skills, Far Away from COVID-19 is a guideline for organizing activities to promote early childhood development according to their age. The early childhood teachers can lead a design of playing and parents can also lead the activities in the context of their own family in order to build a good relationship in the family.
Organizing a training forum for exchanging knowledge, “The Model New Normal of Early Childhood Development Center”, is a common learning platform and transfer knowledge from experts in various dimensions to members in the network and also developed into online academic exchanges and daily conversations program in order to create the knowledge and develop a child care model in the third wave of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The project of Broadcast Schedule Early Childhood Skills, Far Away from COVID-19 was designed by early childhood teachers as an activity that corresponds to the daily routine at school. It is a guideline for caring and playing with children. In addition, it is a chance for children and parents to spend quality time together than watching online media, can build a network of caregivers for exchanging early childhood knowledge between members and experts of the institute and develop the cooperation in early childhood care, promoting child development in a holistic way in the form of New Normal, a new way of life under the COVID-19 epidemic.
8. Others that are important to the project
During the COVID-19 situation and the school have to extend the semester break, the Early Childhood Development Center, Mahidol University has developed an online classroom for the parent to play with the kids as follows:
Online lessons on the topic of “Playing with children, playing with grandchildren, build the brains for three thousand days”. This online lesson is a video clip that teaches the parents to make simple toys and play with their children at home. This online lesson public in April 2020.
The Project of Broadcast Schedule Early Childhood Skills, Far Away from COVID-19. This project is public in May 2020.
Both programs are public to early childhood development centers across the country as well as communities, parents, or child caregivers through social media systems.