Two thirds of parents worried about lockdown impact on their children

Busy Bees nursery

Busy Bees has a number of nurseries across Norfolk. - Credit: Rob Smalley

Six in 10 parents in the region believe that lockdown has set back their children's development, new research has found.  

A survey by nursery provider Busy Bees - which polled 1,000 parents by Onepoll - found that 61pc of parents in East Anglia fear lockdown has had a detrimental impact on their children's development.

Early years educator Sammy Scully with the children

Parents in the region are concerned about the impact the pandemic could have on their child's development - Credit: Archant

The study also found that 48pc of local children have struggled with the lack of interaction during the pandemic, and more than two in 10 parents say their child isn’t as happy as they were.

Deena Billings, early years expert at Busy Bees, which runs four nurseries in Norwich as well as in Thetford and Great Yarmouth, said: “We’ve seen children in our nurseries having to re-learn how to use their social skills, independence and interactions with peers when we initially reopened our doors last year. 

“Worried parents should remember children are really resilient, and with time, supporting their emotions, and nurturing, there is no reason why even the clingiest of children won’t be back to normal.”

Deena Billings, early years expert at Busy Bees nurseries.

Deena Billings, early years expert at Busy Bees nurseries. - Credit: Busy Bees

The survey showed that a further 79pc of parents are concerned the lack of social interaction over the last 12 months will have a negative impact on their child’s psychological and emotional well-being, while others fear developmental milestones such as being able to walk, toilet train and eat without help could be affected.

Nurseries have found provision disrupted during the pandemic but many have stayed opened during the lockdowns

Sarah Kendall, centre director for Busy Bees at Norwich Airport, said: “The pandemic has affected us all, and it makes perfect sense that there will be some effect on our children too.

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“Although the research has highlighted parent’s fears, we know just how resilient children can be, and are confident that they’ll bounce back in time with their family’s support.

Busy Bees says all children and staff will have their temperature checked upon arrival at its nurser

Children and staff at Busy Bees nurseries have had temperature checks upon arrival during the pandemic. - Credit: BUSY BEES

“We’ve certainly noticed that children’s general mood and development has improved ten-fold since returning to nursery, and it’s great to see the positive difference a bit of routine and time out of the house can make.”

Busy Bees has released a guide with calming activities and breathing exercises for families to help them as we come out of lockdown.