Interventions to support early childhood development in times of COVID-19: A systematic review protocol.
Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which came as an emerging disease, was announced as a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. In an attempt to limit this virus's spread, strict measures were taken, amongst which closure of schools and child care facilities were also present. This impacted the holistic well-being of the children. This systematic review aimed to identify early childhood development (ECD) interventions conducted and reported during the COVID-19 pandemic in low and middle-income countries and identify the barriers and facilitators to taking up ECD activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methodology: A systematic literature explores all published and pre-print studies done during this pandemic starting from 31 Dec 2019 onwards using PRISMA guidelines. Databases such as MEDLINE, Embase, ERIC, CINAHL, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Google Scholar, and the WHO COVID-19 database would be searched. All types of studies that are reporting ECD interventions and outcomes will be considered.
Discussion: The review will be one of the initiatives to support and provide directions for the programmatic agencies and academia to support post-Covid-19 interventions for the young children living in lower middle-income countries. By gathering the data pertinent to the interventions that were done during the times of lockdown for early childhood will also provide evidence to the programs of what has worked and how well it has worked for the nurturing care of children and their families.
Systematic review registration number: PROSPERO CRD42020202541
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