Interview Research


PART 1: Interview


Q: Comment on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the communication channels between you and your child’s school.

A: The traditional channels of communication have changed much during the pandemic. Previously, we had to physically visit the school and have face to face interactions with teachers whenever there was an issue to be discussed. However, currently, the school mainly uses Whatsapp and Facebook as channels of communication to minimize contact. In many cases, communication mainly consisted of teachers posting instructions on the children’s assignments and where to get answers. Most of my communication was posting the scores of my child. In many cases, I tended to be a one-way communication with little parental response.

Q: Have these changes affected your communication with the teachers?

A: Yes, there is limited interaction, and most of the communication is written as opposed to spoken in the past. There is less personalization of communication this way and little room for follow up questions from parents. Communication with a faceless teacher online is not the same as holding a face to face meeting, especially with the child present. There are aspects of communication, such as facial expressions and the use of gestures, which were sometimes lost in the mainly written communication online.

Q: What are your main goals for engaging with the school administration in these communication channels?

A: I had much anxiety during the COVID 19 school break. Although there was learning online, I was not sure that my child was keeping pace with others. Also, I was aware that children learn many things from each other, and play was an important component of early childhood education. I was afraid that my child might lag during the period in which he was isolated from the rest. I was anxious to know how to know my child’s progress, which was my main reason for visiting social media sites.

Q: Do you feel staying at home changed your influence on your child’s education in any way?

A: Yes, it changed in a major way. For the first time, I had a direct role to play in my child’s education. I was the one to mark his assignments in some cases, help with problematic areas and teach some concepts which required extra explanation. I had become accustomed to the topics taught at this level for the first time, unlike in the past, when I had no idea what was happening. I now have more control and influence on my child’s learning.

Q: Therefore, would you say you have been empowered more as a parent?

A: Yes, the direct involvement in my child’s education has greatly empowered me as a parent. I am now able to guide the child well and have become more interested in his daily progress. I also had an opportunity to reconnect with his discipline and notice some of the traits I had not discovered before. Despite the dangers of the disease, the time I stayed away from school and engaged in homeschooling provided an opportunity for me to bond with him and reconnect with his learning. Finally, staying at home and being the main supervisor of academic programs has helped me appreciate the important role of teachers in children’s education. I now appreciate some of the challenges teachers encounter while caring for children, making me more responsive to their proposals. Therefore, the period has improved my relationship with the teachers, which will help the team ensure my child’s academic success.




PART 2: Analysis & Reflection

The interview allowed me to learn how the COVID 19 pandemic has affected the relationship between teachers, parents, and learners. I learned that there were major changes that had happened during the break from school. The physical break from school, while at the same time, parents were working from home, provided a rare chance for parents to socialize with their children and learn to manage them. Teachers were not available to give immediate feedback or explain new concepts, and parents had to step in to perform this duty. The parent I interviewed confessed that this was a positive development of the COVID 19 break.

However, as expressed by the parent I interviewed, there were real fears about the child’s pace of learning. Some parents feared that the child might not learn as fast as he could because he was learning alone. This fear is not entirely misplaced, as parents are aware that they do not have the requisite training to carefully monitor the child’s development and learning pace and provide the right intervention if learning becomes derailed. According to Pinter (2011), early childhood education requires expert input. The care giver should have an adequate understanding of how a child learns and the group’s influence on the learning process. Therefore, this experience taught me that while parents may have had enough time to bond with their children and spread their influence to them, expert supervision and the benefits of group interaction may have been greatly compromised when children learned in isolation during the pandemic.

However, there were some positive attributes of the period to both children and parents. The interview showed that the parents had an opportunity to learn their children and know how they are developing academically. The theme of the parental role in the education process was a significant component of the responses in this interview. I learned that parents were forced to become active participants in their children’s learning process, as opposed to passive participants they had been before. Fagbeminiyi (2011) stresses the importance of parental involvement in early childhood education and adds that parents’ failure to be actively involved in child education leads to the development of undesirable traits that become difficult to correct later in life. Thus, I learned that parents have been failing in an important duty in normal situations and that the lessons learned from their interaction with children should be extended to the post-COVID 19 periods.

Largely, the interview showed that the learning process had continued, albeit with some challenges during the COVID 19 pandemic. In some cases, schools had to close to limit the spread of the virus, but this had not stopped the learning process. The key element in this successful implementation of learning programs was communication and the use of technology. Parents and teachers became innovative in the use of technology as a tool to manage the learning process. Most of the communication involved teachers posting information and tasks to be performed by the learners while at home. Teachers would then access such information and transmit it to the children; then, after the learners had finished, the parents would grade the works and give feedback on the teachers’ performance. However, it emerged that such communication models are not as effective as face-to-face interactions, as some aspects such as non-verbal communication features are lost when information is primarily written. Nonetheless, the lessons learned from the use of technology in the learning process can greatly help manage the education process. Also, in cases where there s a shortage of learning materials, in cases of calamity or times of war, technology can enable learners to continue with the learning process uninterrupted. Thus, the pandemic has helped highlight some of the possible solutions to the problems that limit students’ exposure to learning.

Finally, this research taught me that communication is an important component of the learning process. Learning involves teachers, parents, and the learners, and for the three to operate in a coordinated manner, there is a need for constant feedback to each of them. The correct communication needs to be whole and should incorporate both spoken and non-verbal forms of communication to be complete. Therefore, the use of technology alone, which only involves the passing of written messages to parents, is not enough to make the parents active participants in the learning of their children. Instead, there is a need for detailed, face-to-face interactions that should bring together the three parties so that each player understands the other well. Generally, this interview helped me understand the early childhood learning process, especially the role played by parents in the learning of their children.



















Fagbeminiyi, F.F. (2011). The Role of Parents in Early Childhood Education: A Case Study

of Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria. Global Journal of Human Social Science, Volume 11, Issue 2Version 1.0 March 2011.

Pinter, A. (2011). Theories of Child Development. In: Children Learning Second Languages.

Research and Practice in Applied Linguistics. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

















The Changing Role of Parents in Early Childhood Education Following COVID 19 Pandemic

For a long time, parents have left teachers to be in charge of the learning process at all learning stages, especially the early childhood education stage. The pandemic has significantly changed how early childhood education is managed, with the measures put in place to limit the virus’s spread, significantly altering how natural interactions have been organized in school. Education is largely an interactive process. Since the virus spreads through interaction between people, efforts to limit this interaction to control the spread of the virus naturally affected the delivery of education programs in the whole world. Many schools had to shut down when after the outbreak of the pandemic, with some learning programs being conducted via the internet. The developments left parents as the primary caregivers and supervisors of the education process of their children. Thus, the parents’ role in early childhood education is changing fast after the advent of the COVID 19 pandemic.

COVID 19 changed almost all aspects of child growth and development, which meant that parents had to adjust their mode of caring for and educating the children. Because of suspended physical schooling, or limited formal school time, parents became active supervisors of the curriculum implementation process. While teachers, in some cases, engaged in online teaching, this was not sufficient to cover all the children’s learning requirements as learning at the early stage requires close monitoring and supervision, which cannot be done online. Dong, Cao, and Li (2020) argue that while online learning has been widely sated to be the ultimate solution to the closure of schools, at the early childhood stage, this is not entirely possible due to special care and attention that children require. For children to acquire most of the learning process tasks, there is a need for repetition and practice, in which online programs may ignore Dong, Cao, and Li (2020). Thus, unlike other stages of education require the physical presence of an instructor to monitor progress and correct errors as they occur. With limited school time and homeschooling, parents have changed to the primary education supervisors of the children. For many parents, the COVID 19 period was the first time they actively participated in the teaching and learning of their children.

Secondly, parents have become the primary role models for the behavioral development of their children. Most of the learning that happens in children’s behavioral development is imitating other people or group socialization, where children learn character from each other. Therefore, the extended family, neighbors, people at the shopping malls, and those at the places of worship contribute to the child’s overall behavioral development. However, COVID 19 reduced such interaction due to the restrictions placed on social gatherings and physical movement. This left parents as the only people that a child can spend enough time with. No doubt, parental roles had to change significantly as the early childhood stage is when children begin to form behavioral patterns. However, other challenges make it difficult for parents to automatically replace the absent players in the children’s character formation process. Fisher et al. (2020) point out that poverty, necessities, poor housing, and poor health make it difficult for parents to be readily available for their children. The pandemic has worsened this state of affairs. Parents have had to be innovative in organizing their time to have some time to attend to the needs of their young children, as they have become the primary caregivers.

Further, parents have become the main link between teachers and students when they learn from home. Previously, students were expected to receive instructions directly from the teachers during the school sessions, including the assignments to be done at home. Parents remained in the peripheral role of only observing how their children were progressing at school. However, with increased home-based learning, parents are the ones t receive the communication, interpret and relay it to the children. This has also made parents try and familiarize themselves with the latest communication and social networking technology to stay in communication with the teachers. Kong et al. (2020) point out that although schools have begun reopening in many countries of the world, many restrictions remain, and the situations may never fully go back to what it was before the pandemic, which means that the role of parents in being the primary link to learning materials may remain permanently. Therefore, the pandemic may have permanently altered parents’ role in the early childhood learning process, with many responsibilities shifting from teachers and other caregivers to the parent.

Additionally, with learning being conducted online, parents must remain vigilant to ensure that the children are not exposed to harmful content while online. Many pedophiles and child traffickers aware that children are online may try to take advantage of their innocence to lure them. Parents are expected to know how to identify such elements and protect their children from them. According to UNICEF (2020), there is a real danger that children can be exposed to harmful content when left unsupervised online. Also, UNICEF (2020) adds that this risk has increased substantially during the COVID 19 pandemic when the number of children using the internet increased due to school closures. It is the duty of parents to protect young children from content that can ruin their development and character formation. To succeed in this, the parent is expected to know some basic ways to guard against harmful sites. Therefore, the parent needs to upgrade their basic technical skills to be an effective guide to young children. Therefore, the modern parent needs to be more skilled in technological matters than the child to be the main point of reference for the child. He needs to inspire enough confidence in the child about his knowledge on technological matters; otherwise, the child will lose interest and navigate his own, which will expose him to harmful sites.

Further, it is the duty of the early childhood parent to give positive and negative reinforcement to the child. In the reduced presence of teachers, the parent has the duty of carefully observing the child and noticing any milestones in the learning and development process and reinforcing these through positive comments or other rewarding actions to encourage the child to retain the development and move on to new achievements. Sumiati et al. (2019) state that if reinforcement is not given at the right time, important milestones in the learning process may be lost and achievements lost by the child. Sumiati et al. (2019) add that there may be a regression in the learning process if the parents or teachers fail to give reinforcement at the right time. While teachers have been the main givers of both positive and negative reinforcement, the increased home learning that has resulted from the COVID 19 pandemic means that parents should take up this duty as, in many cases, they will be the only ones present when the child makes such learning progress.

Finally, and most importantly, parents have the duty of providing a positive, friendly learning environment at home. While schools have been designed with learning requirements in mind, many of the homes are not constructed with the required learning facilities and a suitable environment for young children’s learning. However, the pandemic has forced much of the learning to happen at home, and many homes are likely to double up as learning centers for young children for a long time. Therefore, parents need to modify their homes to make them suitable for the education of small children. Ang and Tabu (2018) argue that the environment in which children learn influences the learning process’s speed and effectiveness and that there is a need for deliberate efforts to ensure that children have stimulating items in their learning surroundings. Ang and Tabu (2018) add that while schools have tried their best to include such items in the learning surroundings, homes have remained largely insensitive to children’s needs, with the economy limiting the ability of many homes to effectively provide the needs of children during house construction. With the increased use of homes as learning centers, parents have the task of coming up with innovations and creative ways of making these homes friendly and safe for child growth and development.

The COVID 19 pandemic has completely changed the way education was organized in the world. Before the pandemic, schools remained centers of education for young children, with teachers playing the main roles in children’s education. Parents remained detached from their children’s education and only participated superficially, leaving the teachers’ actual learning and teaching process. However, with the pandemic, many schools closed, forcing the children to learn at home. Although many teachers participated through online teaching, the parents, especially early childhood learners, became the immediate teachers who had to access the information for their children, interpret and explain it to the young children. Further, the parents have become the main sources of inspiration and act as role models for the children, as interaction with other people is limited due to the restrictions imposed to reduce the virus’s spread. Also, parents have the extra duty of protecting their children while online to ensure that they do not access harmful content. Finally, parents have the duty to create a friendly learning environment at home and ensure that they offer the requisite motivation. Therefore, most of the duties that were initially performed by the teachers now have to be done by the parent, which shows that since the advent of the COVID 19 pandemic, parents have an increased role to play in the education of the young children.















Ang, L. & Tabu, M. (2018). Conceptualising Home-Based Child Care: A Study of Home-

Based Settings and Practices in Japan and England International Journal of Early Childhood volume 50, pages143–158(2018).

Dong, C., Cao, S. & Li, H. (2020). Young Children’s Online learning During COVID-19

Pandemic: Chinese Parents’ Beliefs and Attitudes. Children and Youth Services

Review, 2020 Nov; 118: 105440.

Fisher, J. et al. (2020). Community, Work, and Family in Times of COVID-19. Journal of

Community, Work & Family, Volume 23, 2020 – Issue 3, pp 247-252.

Kong, J. et al. (2020). Adapting to Online Teaching During COVID-19 School Closure:

Teacher  Education and Teacher Competence Effects Among Early Career Teachers in

Germany. European Journal on Teacher Education, volume 43, 2020, Issue 4.

Sumiati, T. et al. (2019). Building Children’s Learning Motivation through Positive

Reinforcement in Science and Math Classroom. Journal of Physics: Conf. Series1318

(2019) 012023.

UNICEF (2020). Children at increased risk of harm online during global COVID-19

Pandemic. 14 April 2020.

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