Discussion Forum

How is COVID-19 affecting the early childhood field?



When: Wednesday, December 9th│10:00 - 11:30 CET



The disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic poses some critical questions to all of us working in the early childhood field, with no easy answer at hand. There are very few or no occasions for experts to come together to analyze, discuss, agree or disagree on what should be done to continue ensuring quality, equitable and integrated services for all children and families, in the contexts created by the COVID-19 pandemic. And even more importantly, to ensure that we are acting in the best interest of the 21st century child in the present, but also for their future. We hold an important responsibility to the early childhood community as co-contributors to the thinking that shapes the narrative in the field.  

This Discussion Forum, facilitated by the ISSA Secretariat, will bring together ISSA’s community of experts to discuss and explore specific issues in an attempt to distill or catalyze guiding messages for our work for and with children, families, communities, and professionals. We propose the following questions:  

  1. What does quality practice mean (comparing to the way we used to define it) in the context of respecting physical distancing in services, or when services are provided remotely due to COVID-19 mitigating measures?  
  2. Children of today live in a digital society. How should we approach the necessity/pressure enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic for using technology in children’s learning and development starting with early ages, to ensure that we still promote their healthy and rounded development?  
  3. To what extent did educators’ roles change and how may these changes affect their current and future professionalization? (more individualized support for families, acting in coordination with other services, using online tools, etc.)


Mihaela Ionescu – Program Director, ISSA
Zorica Trikic – Senior Program Manager, ISSA
Konstantina Rentzou – Senior Program Manager, ISSA
    • Ulviyya Mikalyilova – Program Committee member and Director of Center of Innovations in Education and teaching at the ADA University  (Azerbaijan)
    • Eunice Lumsden - Head of Early Years at the University of Northampton (UK)
    • Henriette Heimgartner – President of ISSA Board and Director of the Berlin Early Childhood Institute for Quality Development (Germany)
    • Jan Peeters – Senior Consultant, Centre for Innovation in the Early Years (Belgium)
    • Mathias Urban - Director of the Early Childhood Research Centre (ECRC) at Dublin City University (Ireland)
    • Gerda Sula – Program Committee member and Director of Step by Step Center (Albania)
    • Giorgio Tamburlini – President of the Center for Child Health and Development (Italy)
    • Anke van Keulen - Director Bureau Mutant (the Netherlands)
    • Michelle BugbySenior Lecturer in Education, University of Northampton (UK)




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