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Contemporary Perspectives in Early Childhood Education

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Contemporary Perspectives in Early Childhood Education is a series that offers an integrated view of current knowledge within the various areas of early childhood education. Each volume in the series presents a scholarly and critical analysis of the review of research and theory related to some aspect of early childhood education. The topics to be covered in each volume are determined by which aspects of the field are considered particularly important in relation to current research and theory. The topic for the next volume is Coronavirus Disease 2019. Since this topic is new, there is insufficient research, which makes it difficult to have manuscripts that critically analyze research outcomes. Therefore, for this volume manuscripts that describe and justify the current state of early childhood education issues will also be accepted.

Rationale
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is also known as SARS-CoV-2, has had a great impact in early childhood education programs. At the beginning of the year 2020, after a December 2019 outburst in China, the World Health Organization acknowledged SARS-CoV-2 as a different kind of coronavirus. It immediately multiplied around the world, mostly through person-to-person contact. Infections vary between mild to deadly. COVID-19 can cause a respiratory tract infection such as ones sinuses, nose, and throat or lower respiratory tract such as ones windpipe and lungs (WebMD, LLC, 2020).

Early childhood educators are assuming a major responsibility to assist other critical industries during the COVID-19 crisis. All early childhood education programs are in jeopardy of collapse due to the economic effect. Children and their families (including infants and toddlers) are also affected. This epidemic has affected the early childhood education programs because of the spread and contamination, programs were closed or had a low enrollment (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2020). To identify the extent of the developing crisis, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conducted a short survey with early childhood education programs to discover the challenges they were encountering throughout all states and programs and the effect a closing without substantial public funding would have on their programs. Between March 12–16, 2020, NAEYC received more than 6,000 responses that included all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The respondents believed that they could not endure a closure that lasted more than two weeks without a substantial public funding that would permit them to pay and keep staff, pay rent or mortgages, and deal with other predetermined expenses.

Early childhood education programs will have a difficult time functioning without any resources and strong leadership. Many respondents (70%) have families who are keeping their children at home; however, half are also having requests from families who need for someone to care for their children because of public school closures. One teacher shared her apprehension, “We want to help but we are scared to help because we don’t want to be responsible for the spread.” Adaptable federal and state funds for early childhood education programs are critical, together with arrangements to protect the funding allocation throughout programs and states, including being able to apply for unemployment insurance, mortgage forbearance, rent deferrals, and money loans through grants and for zero interest loans.

Researchers, scholars, policy makers, and early childhood educators are invited to submit a manuscript that is focuses on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The contents of the volume need to reflect the major shifts in the views of early childhood education. Since the effect of this epidemic is new, little research has been conducted. Therefore, the volume may include a critical analysis of the available research or manuscripts that describe and justify the current situation in relation to early childhood education. For example, authors may consider topics such as the following:

• What support hast been provided to families and those educators who work directly or indirectly in early childhood education programs?

• How is COVID-19 pandemic affecting young children?

• How has COVID-19 forced recent demands on the use of technology for everything but especially for educational purposes?

• How are families managing the COVID-19 predicament including (1) providing guidance on how to manage the effect of the present condition such as being quarantined and home-schooling; and (2) thinking through the future expectations of this large-scale educational experiment?

• How is Covid-19 making educational agencies to address related professional development issues and provide opportunities for early childhood education and care professionals to learn ways to cope and teach during this pandemic?

• How are policy makers addressing the needs of children and their families, including early childhood education programs?

• How are university faculty members specializing in the preparation of early childhood education personnel?

• How are university faculty members maintaining their scholarship when libraries are closed, conferences have been cancelled, and publishers are working remotely?

The concept of COVID-19 has heavily influenced modern views in early childhood education. Researchers, scholars, and educators need to understand the current sources based on theoretical frameworks that contribute to the purposes of COVID-19 in the United States and Europe. The contents of the volume need to reflect the major shifts in the views of early childhood researchers, scholars, policy makers, and educators in relation to the current events, research on COVID-19, its historical roots, the role of COVID-19 in early childhood education, and its relationship to theory, research, and practice.

Submission of Manuscripts

Researchers and scholars who are experts in this area are encouraged to submit their manuscripts for peer review no later than December 1, 2020. Each paper should be no longer than 6000 words in length that include references, tables, diagrams and other pictorial material. Authors also need to include any necessary permissions.

For publication guidelines and all other inquiries contact Olivia Saracho at: ons@umd.edu

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