By: Ashley Neeley

A Knight Radio closer look at the mask mandate’s effect on pandemic babies

People are optimistic that this pandemic will come to an end and the world can go back to normal, but long-term consequences stir uneasiness amongst early childhood educators.  

The classroom isn’t what it used to be. Covid-19 threw the education field for a loop—forcing them to adapt to new rules and standards. Educators noticed that children are struggling with development, especially infants and preschoolers who are learning the basics like communicating, the difference between right and wrong and socializing. 

Pattycake Playhouse lead teacher Madison Torres said, “It’s no longer about teaching. It’s about cleaning logs, keeping up to date with Covid regulations and how do we keep you [the children] from not getting sick.”

Many childhood educators quit or walked off the job because they didn’t like the new guidelines and requirements, or they were simply afraid for their own safety working during the pandemic. The 10-hour workdays and infrequent breaks created a revolving door at a lot of childcare institutions. 

Inconsistent staff and frequent classroom quarantines have been devastating to the kids’ progress. Torres said, “You could teach A through F to a child, then they could get quarantined and come back not even knowing A.”

Besides additional progression setbacks, many young kids—especially those with ADHD, Autism and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome—have shown high levels of aggression. These children are at a social disadvantage because they’ve been separated from each other during a period critical to their development. 

“When is it going to stop?” said Torres. “I just want to see the virus gone.”