Return to daycare is good for children and parents, experts agree

in News · 17-05-2020 11:00:00 · 10 Comments

Thousands of day care centers are prepared to reopen under unusual conditions, but specialists and early childhood educators agree that the return of children is important for them and for families, despite the constraints.

The progressive reopening of daycare centers, starting on Monday, after two months in which they were closed due to the covid-19 pandemic, has been causing concern among parents and professionals and, in this context, Lusa heard two experts and a representative of educators childhood to understand how the two scales on the scale - the benefits and risks of return - are balanced.

In statements to the Lusa agency, pedopsychiatrist Pedro Strecht admits that in the current context of the covid-19 pandemic, parents' fears about the contagious rich are natural, but he considers that the benefits overlap.

“Being away from home, creating and maintaining relationships with other adults and, above all, with children of the same age, is increasingly important for the majority of the youngest and is a priority task of daycare centers and kindergartens”, he stresses.

Psychologist Inês Almeida Ramos also points out this need, considering that, from this point of view, the return of children to daycare centers and kindergartens will be especially beneficial for those who have no siblings and who have been with their parents for the past two months only. .

In addition to social relations, Pedro Strecht stresses that institutions are equally important in stimulating children in areas such as language, autonomy, games and graphics.

Here, the role of early childhood educators is particularly important, argues Luís Ribeiro, president of the Association of Professionals in Early Childhood Education (APEI).

"The educational opportunities that are given to children since they are born are extremely important for their development and these educational opportunities go through the first years of life primarily through quality interactions, with other children, but also with educators," he told Lusa.

Among the professionals' representative, the pedopsychiatrist and the psychologist heard by Lusa, the advantages of reopening the daycare centers are recognized by all, who agree that the measure will also allow parents to return some normality.

At this level, Inês Ramos mentions parents who can now return to their jobs and Pedro Strecht explains that, during the phase that has passed, those who were on teleworking had difficulties in combining their professional activity with the careful care of their children.

In weighing the pros and cons, the pedopsychiatrist doctor and the president of APEI have no doubts and advocate the return of children to daycare centers.

The psychologist Inês Ramos is, however, more cautious and recognizes that the conditions in which daycare centers will reopen can put in check the best of the youngsters' experience in daycare centers, where children begin to learn to share and play together.

Depending on the current pandemic context, return to daycare centers is subject to new rules, such as physical distance between children, whenever possible, or the non-sharing of toys.

"It is very complicated, because we are telling children that everything they have learned so far is something to forget", says the psychologist, admitting that the new reality will inevitably create strangeness in children, who may, on the other hand, also absorb parents' fear.

Even so, Inês Ramos believes that children's “exceptional adaptability” can facilitate their return and that kindergarten teachers will also be able to reinvent themselves.

Confidence in professionals is one of the main appeals of the president of APEI, who says that everyone is working to ensure a safe reopening. And he adds: "If the parents thought that there was a quality response before, obviously it remains, because a good kindergarten teacher is good in any context".

Portugal entered on May 3 in a calamity situation due to the pandemic, after three consecutive periods in a state of emergency since March 19.

This new phase of combating covid-19 provides for mandatory confinement for sick people and under active surveillance, the general duty of home collection and the mandatory use of masks or visors in public transport, public attendance services, schools and commercial establishments.

The Government today approved new measures that come into force on Monday, including the resumption of visits to users of nursing homes, the reopening of daycare centers, classroom classes for the 11th and 12th year and the reopening of some street shops, cafes, restaurants, museums, monuments and palaces.

The return of community religious ceremonies is scheduled for May 30 and the beaches will open for June 6.


Should we be taking advice from the United States? Look how the adults are behaving....face masks are a dividing political issue, not a health issue. No surprise their children can't be controlled.

By William from Other on 19-05-2020 11:33

This article is trash! It doesn't taken into account the safety of teachers. Most of the parents are ready to dump their children at daycare NOT because they are going back to work, but because they have no discipline, routine, or control over their children and are tired of they them.

By Crystal Banks from USA on 18-05-2020 09:56

I am a daycare teacher and I don't think it's safe to open back up I have 4 and 5 years old and there is no way we can keep them apart. We are putting their lives in jeopardy.

By Judy Darnell from USA on 18-05-2020 06:31

Can the pay at least go up because we are definitely putting our self at risk and the kids

By Sean from USA on 18-05-2020 06:29

I agree it is way to soon to go back it will be impossible to keep toddlers 6 ft apart they will want to play with each other for sure on a daily basis there is physical contact with these kids so many germs are spread in daycares just as they are in schools if not more.

By Daycare teacher from USA on 18-05-2020 06:15

And if we do or when we do go back it should be a limit of how many kids should be be aloud in the day care.

By Latrice Davis from USA on 18-05-2020 04:45

It's hard for 3 and 4 year olds to social existence during play so I do believe that it's too early to return to a daycare setting unless they are certain restrictions set in place as far as the safe classroom environment for the students and teachers

By migdalia Nazario from USA on 18-05-2020 04:44

I don’t agree on this either. I work with toddlers and preschoolers and it’s very hard to keep them 6 feet apart let alone toy sharing. They would have to wash their hands all day long and there would be no learning taking place, also they are not going to keep masks on, we would have to constantly be putting them on. Small children are always touching their mouth, face and hands. This is not a safe solution at this time and it’s to early to open up daycares until we have a better hold on COVID 19.

By Maria from USA on 18-05-2020 04:37

People kill me talking about daycares need to open back up.Never considering the risk that the daycare teachers are putting there self in.You talking about it would be good for the kid's to get back so they can be around kid's their age.That don't make any sense .If you going to have to keep them 6 feet apart that's going to be very hard to do. And I should know because I'm a daycare teacher and I feel we shouldn't have to put our health at risk!

By Teacher from USA on 18-05-2020 12:02

I feel its to early to return i work at a daycare and parents and children and employees are at risk i dont trust going back is safe

By Maria from USA on 18-05-2020 03:50
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