Let’s Grow Together are very pleased to share our latest report: Growing up during lockdown: The impact of Covid-19 on the children and families involved in Let’s Grow Together! Infant & Childhood Partnerships.
This research was conducted by Dr Margaret Curtin, Dr Maria O’Shea, and Dr Claire Hayes of University College Cork. The aim was to examine the impact of Covid-19 on children and families registered with our Infant Mental Health Home Visiting Programme. The report explores the experiences of families through powerful first-hand accounts from caregivers, and team members involved in programme delivery. Key findings and recommendations include:
- Funding of area-based childhood programmes should be ringfenced and expanded so that those who need it most have access to high quality community-based supports.
- Children’s services need to be prioritised and protected in times of crisis. Schools and Early Years services must not be closed on a universal basis, particularly for children most in need.
- Early intervention and primary care services for the under-five population need to be prioritised in the reopening of health services and ‘Catch Up’ clinics should run concurrently with regular clinics for children coming of age for services.
- A government level response is necessary to reduce the inequalities in accessing children’s services including early intervention.
- Investment in the early years is essential to combat the social, emotional, and broader developmental impacts of Covid-19 and to prevent potential lifelong negative outcomes.