Laura Anne Jones MS – the Shadow Minister for Children and Young People – has added her voice to those charities concerned about how successive lockdowns have affected toddlers and babies. Commenting on a media article published today (March 11), Ms Jones said:
“Lockdowns have had a dramatic effect on the way all people regardless of age interact with each other, and the things we took for granted – like a cup of coffee with a friend or a chat in the supermarket – have in a way been replaced by Zoom calls. It’s not ideal, but for many adults, it’s an acceptable albeit temporary alternative.
“But babies and toddlers have and are missing out on so much vital social interaction because of lockdowns, and nurseries, playgroups, and parent and toddler groups, which do so much for so many, have really been forgotten about as the pandemic rolls on.
“As a mother of a one-year-old myself, I can empathise with parents and their concerns on the impact on their babies and toddlers and their social skills, and the difficulty of not having friends and family around you for support in those tough first years.
“It’s not just young children who are missing out, but their parents too. Restrictions on meeting up mean that the incredibly important support that, especially, new parents – particularly mothers – may need from family and friends has often not been there. A bit of FaceTime is no substitute for a hug from your mum or best friend if you have a dose of the baby blues, or more serious post-natal depression.
“It’s essential that playgroups open as soon as possible for the emotional wellbeing of our youngest people – and their parents.”