Unprecedented times: what we have learned about remote instruction in early childhood during the COVID-19 pandemic

Meaghan Mckenna, Elizabeth Burke Hadley, Nicolette Grasley-Boy, Xigrid Soto-Boykin, Julia Mikhail, Story Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article compares findings from two national surveys of remote learning for children 2-5 years old during school year one (2019–2020) of the COVID-19 pandemic to school year two (2020–2021) of the COVID-19 pandemic. The refined survey contains 45 closed-ended and five open-ended items covering seven domains: (a) demographic information; (b) preparation, guidelines, and materials for remote learning; (c) caregiver communication and engagement; (d) assessment; (e) instruction; (f) educators' levels of confidence before and after remote learning; and (g) access to services (i.e. wraparound and/or special education). Both quantitative (descriptive, regression, ANOVA, Wilcoxon signed rank test) and consensual qualitative research analyses were applied to summarize the results from 506 early childhood educators. Study results indicate that improvements in remote learning were made during the second pandemic school year. Remote learning has potential for young children if an infrastructure that allows for successful implementation is established.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1350-1366
Number of pages17
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number13-14
Early online dateAug 11 2023
StatePublished - 2023


  • Early childhood education
  • remote learning
  • COVID-19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology


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