Early Childhood Education and the Covid-19 Experience

Leslie A Spina, University of Pennsylvania


This dissertation critically examined the perspectives of early childhood education professionals administering early childhood education programs in the midst of a pandemic. Responding to an unexpected interruption of services, with no predetermined end date, the work necessary to stabilize educational programming and reestablish connections to children and families less likely to have access to the internet or devices for virtual learning was explored. I as the researcher examined the work to reopen and the process of establishing a “new normal,” drawing on a range of data sources including my own reflective journal and field notes as the Kinder Academy Executive Director. Using practitioner inquiry methodologies, I explored my own decision-making process and the understandings of the Kinder Academy administrative team by interviewing and conducting focus groups with team members to gain a higher-level understanding of the crisis through an alternative lens. I also explored the experiences and decision-making processes of colleagues, who were long-term early childhood education leaders in Philadelphia committed to providing each other with mutual support as we worked together as an Inquiry Community to develop ways to build and sustain our individual school communities and business operations. I conclude the study with a discussion of implications for early childhood leaders, practitioners, and policymakers.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Early childhood education

Recommended Citation

Spina, Leslie A, "Early Childhood Education and the Covid-19 Experience" (2022). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI29319024.