COVID-19 Early Childhood Education Workforce Survey

Since the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic in March, a crisis continues to escalate, affecting individuals, families and communities around the world. According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the closure of schools in 188 countries, affecting more than 1.5 billion students and 63 million primary and secondary teachers worldwide. The closures pose unprecedented challenges for education systems throughout the world and make us re-think many aspects of education.

While all levels and types of education are facing serious challenges, we have noticed that there has been insufficient discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on the early childhood education (ECE) workforce. Based on the latest available data, over 4.4 million pre-primary teachers (85 percent of whom are women) in 24 countries in the Asia-Pacific region are affected by COVID-19. Members of this workforce are under more pressure than ever to handle unprecedented challenges, stress and disruptions, which are exacerbated by their already vulnerable status in the overall education workforce compared to their counterparts in other levels of education.

As we consider how best to support countries in the ECE sector in the Asia-Pacific region to manage and respond to COVID-19, UNESCO, UNICEF, Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC), the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative (ECWI) and International Step by Step Association (ISSA) designed a joint survey for ECE centre managers, heads of pre-primary/preschool, ECE teachers and practitioners.

The survey aims to:

  • Advocate and raise awareness on the impact of COVID-19 on ECE workforce – to be shared in future advocacy efforts of partners;
  • Devise policy recommendations for governments - to be shared and endorsed at the 4th Asia-Pacific Regional Policy Forum on ECE and other initiatives of partners;
  • Identify practical solutions for providers to support the ECE workforce; and
  • Contribute to the five year progress review of SDG4 and understand the implications of the status of ECE workforce on progress toward SDG4.2 and 4.c
  • Although the survey has been designed to target the Asia-Pacific regional countries, the survey will be circulated in other regions as well. We would appreciate if you could circulate the survey with your colleagues and relevant networks.

Completing the survey should take about 20 minutes. The survey will be open until 18 May 2020. Find it here.