[Sponsored article] It has now been more than two years since the COVID pandemic began, unsettling everything in its path (including the education of our little ones). Although less subject to the dangerous nature of the virus, they have nevertheless suffered the consequences in their motor, linguistic, cognitive and socio-affective development. It is between the crucial ages of 0 and 5, after all, that our children learn essential skills for the fulfillment of their adult life.
It is with this great responsibility that the world of early childhood has had to adapt, both during the short period of quarantine as well as when the doors of nurseries and kindergartens reopened.
Based on its expertise and the experience of its four daycares and preschools in Manhattan; VHG Group, a specialist in French-English bilingual early childhood education, shares with you its story and analysis of this period, as well as the emotional and physical repercussions to “COVID babies,” as seen through the eyes of their students, parents, teachers and directors.
On March 16, 2020
…a new era begins.
It is on this date that daycares in New York City closed their doors for an indefinite period. What seemed unimaginable before becomes reality!
“This pandemic forced us to organize ourselves in 48 hours. All of our programs went online, including for infants. The main goal was to keep the link with our community and to be able to finish the school programs of our preschoolers.
The teachers and directors adapted. Children and parents became familiar with new digital tools
We managed to preserve their routine, adapting their daily activities to the virtual world. We continued our ‘circle time.’ We also organized other funny and creative activities, such as treasure hunts in their living rooms. The children had to find different objects corresponding to a color, for example. These activities enhanced learning skills, motor and cognitive development despite the conditions.
The first ‘Zoom’ sessions were very curious: the children did not really understand what was going on. Then, gradually, they recognized their friends, looked for each other and were involved in all of the activities offered. It was very touching to see. Thanks to these tools and above all thanks to the support of the parents, we were able to maintain the social bond,” explains Marion Menand, Director of Petits Poussins Too (West Harlem).
On September 8, 2020
…our little ones are going back to school.
It is on this day that the schools of VHG Group reopened their doors with a precise and evolving COVID protocol. Schools adapted their curriculums, including more physical activities (yoga, dance, etc.). Partnering with La FFF (French Football Academy NYC), each school in the group offered football classes for all its programs, in order to promote more essential sports activities that were unfortunately limited during lockdown.
On September 7, 2021
…An almost normal back to school, but not quite
A year and a half after the first lockdown, some parents, who were still working from home, realized their need to adapt to a new life. They then decided to enroll their children for the first time in preschool, realizing the importance of school in the social, physical, and emotional construction of their little ones.
“At Arc en Ciel, our French bilingual preschool located on the Upper East Side, the start of the new school year was destabilizing for some children. We found that children who have been limited in their social interactions for a certain period of time have had more difficulty in going through the transition and separation from their parents.
The experience and success of our schools over the past 2 years highlights the importance of daily routine in our learning. We note that the emotional and physical impact that this pandemic has caused can be limited, as long as adaptations are put in place to ensure the continuity of the motor, linguistic, cognitive, and socio-affective development of the youngest, ” says Vanessa Handal-Ghenania, founder of VHG Group.
More information about VHG Group
VHG Group offers visits or virtual tours (by appointment), in each of their schools. To discover their programs, but also to know their bilingual expertise and their learning methods, visit their website or contact them at the following address [email protected].
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