The Association of Childhood Education Professionals (APEI) expressed this Sunday “deep concern” about the conditions for the reopening of day care centers within a week and says that the recommendations issued by health authorities are “deeply inadequate”.
The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) has already made a set of recommendations for the reopening of daycare centers, which may happen from the 18th, and these recommendations that APEI is now contesting, expressing themselves available to collaborate with the Government and other entities responsible for responding to children under the age of three, to “find the best solutions”.
Although aware of the exceptional character of the moment due to the new coronavirus, the association says that the proposals for opening the daycare centers, to be fulfilled, “are objectively damaging the development of children”.
“Maintain a physical distance of two meters between each child and prevent them from interacting with each other, avoid touching surfaces, having tables in line or children placed with their backs to each other, avoid sharing toys and other objects, having adults of reference (educators and assistants), with whom children maintain deep ties, wearing masks, are measures that reveal a lack of knowledge about the reality of educational work in daycare centers and about the development of children under three years old “, warns APEI in the statement, adding that these measures are “deeply disturbing” and represent “violence against children”.
“Holding the child, looking into the eyes and allowing the child to empathize through facial expression, talking close to his face and caressing his face are affects that build and cement the interactions and the bond between the child and the educator / caregiver. manifestations of affection or artificializing them, with masks and physical distance, is to violate the relationship “, warns the association.
Just as it is “to violate” the child “to imprison him” in tables, loungers or parks, when that child is in the phase of progressive autonomy, of exploring spaces and materials and the relationship with others.
“It is difficult to understand how it is possible to think about reopening the daycare centers with this type of recommendations, which, it is good to clarify, will cover children mostly from families with social conditions of greater vulnerability and socioeconomic inequality, precisely those that will have no alternative but to be. the nursery, as the rest will choose to keep them safe, at their home “, the association’s statement said.
In the document, APEI does not provide solutions to the problem, but says it is promoting a reflection to prepare recommendations on the matter that contribute to the guarantee of conditions of hygiene, safety and well-being of children, and for the valorization of pedagogical and support for families.