Despite the pandemic, some jurisdictions are eager to reopen daycares and schools – and not just because the move would allow their parents to work.
“Early childhood development is one of the most critical predictors of lifelong outcomes for children from a health, social and economic perspective,” says Vivek Goel, the University of Toronto’s vice-president, research and innovation, and strategic initiatives, and a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. “Schools and daycares often provide good nutrition for students who are not able to get it at home and often ensure that those that are vulnerable have protection.”
But reopening needs to be done carefully and thoughtfully, Goel says.
In episode 15 of his podcast on the pandemic, Goel – a renowned public health expert and founding head of Public Health Ontario, which was set up in response to the 2003 SARS outbreak – explains why reopening of schools and daycares is essential and what steps authorities will need to take to keep kids safe.
COVID-19: What’s Next is a bi-weekly podcast created by Goel in collaboration with a University of Toronto Communications team led by producer Lisa Lightbourn.
Note: The information in this podcast is current as of the posting date. Listeners should consult their local public health agency for the latest information in their jurisdiction.