Supporting the most vulnerable children and families – Concrete examples of responses to the COVID-19 crisis  

The COVID-19 crisis has brought into focus the importance of the home environment and parents’ irreplaceable role in young children’s well-being, development, and early learning.

The pandemic has highlighted the different roles parents have as well as the need to have flexible and inclusive ECEC programs and services that can adequately address the challenges faced by the most vulnerable (Roma, migrants, and refugees, children with special needs, and families living in extreme poverty).

In many cases, the measures taken to mitigate the pandemic have created additional threats; such as widespread job and income loss, a surge in domestic violence, denied access to basic services, lack of humanitarian support, stigma and marginalization, and food supply emergency, among others.

Acknowledging that it is fundamental to address not only the short-term but especially the long-term impact of COVID-19 on parents’ and young children’s physical and mental well-being, this webinar aspires to share examples of successful approaches for supporting the most vulnerable families and young children in Italy, Belgium, Germany, and Ukraine.

This webinar shares...

  • Major challenges that the COVID-19 crisis poses to vulnerable young children and their families and how international agencies, grassroots organizations, and city governments have responded with universal, holistic, intersectoral and integrated interventions.
  • Effective approaches to reach out to vulnerable young children and their families.
  • Reflections on the remaining challenges and the long-term consequences of the pandemic on the physical and mental well-being of the most vulnerable families and young children.
  • Lessons learned in pursuing and mobilizing support for vulnerable families and explore ways to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in the long run.

Panelists and Moderator

Sara Shokry, Program officer, Associazione 21 luglio, Italy
Olena Hloba, Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation, Ukraine
Dr Ceren Gueven-Gueres, Coordination of Programmes in Germany, UNICEF Germany
Lieve De Bosscher, Director, Early Childhood Unit, City of Ghent, Belgium   
Aljosa Rudas, Program Officer, ISSA
Francesca Colombo, Senior Program Officer, ISSA 

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Download the webinar presentation (PDF) 

ECD resources related to COVID-19

Find additional ECD resources related to COVID-19 here

Watch past ISSA webinars