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Impact of COVID19 Restrictions on Young Children's Play, Learning and Development: Key Findings from the Play and Learning in the Early Years (PLEY) Survey - School



Many children’s lives have changed dramatically in recent months due to the COVID-19 crisis. An online survey of parents of children aged 0-10 years was used to explore how these changes have affected children’s play, learning and development. The survey measured play activities at home, the factors that influence it and the impact of some of the restrictions. The PLEY and Learning in the Early Years (PLEY) Survey was completed by over 500 parents between 21st May and 3rd of June 2020 and consisted mainly of an Irish sample. Preliminary findings indicate the closure of schools, creches, playgrounds and restrictions on physical movement and interactions has had a number of effects on many aspects of children’s lives.
School and Friends
Education and School Work
Understanding Restrictions
Play and Learning in the Early Years
Most parents were engaged in
this school work
82% of parents did school work with
their children everyday
Although 81% of parents agreed it
was important to continue school
work at home,
55% of families stated school work
as a source of conflict between
parents and children
Most children are missing school
and their friends
80% of children miss school
87% miss playing with other children
90% miss their friends
Most children spent less than 2 hours
per day on school work
80% of school age children watched
educational TV at least once a week
53% also played educational games on
screens devices at least once a week
This resea rch w as ca rried ou t by th e C og nit io n,
Devel opmen t, an d Lea rning La b @MI C Lim er ick
Nearly all 6-10 year olds, and
over two thirds of 4-5 year olds:
Understand the restrictions,
understand social distancing and
have practised social distancing
(e.g., in the park, with family
"Covid 19 is often
incorporated into their play
e.g. dolls having to social
(Age: 8 years)
"Missing friends and
school so tantrums are
regular and bed time is
(Age: 7 years)
"Isolation and anxiety.
Misses the routine of
school. He misses meeting
his friends"
(Age: 7 years)
About the PLEY Survey:
Data provided by 506 parents
of children aged 1-10,
collected online between May
21st and June 3rd 2020
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