DR. CAROLYN U. RONQUILLO

As of January 26, 2021, around 18.8 percent of confirmed COVID-19 patients in South Korea, were in their 50s, followed by patients in their 20s and 60s. Only 3.75% were children below 10 years old. Social distancing (or social pause) is in progress. Generally, grade schools to university classes have been replaced by online instruction after the school opening was postponed three times, work from home is recommended and all group events have been canceled. Most of the people are avoiding crowded places. In Korea, even before COVID, it was common to wear masks regardless of diseases, so people are continuing to wear masks when they need to go out. Relying on an aggressive trace-test-and-quarantine program and mandatory use of face masks, South Korea has so far weathered this pandemic without major lockdowns. This presentation will introduce a brief background on how the South Korean government through its Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCPA) focused on this outbreak. Significant adjustments have been put into action to deal with the new policies on COVID, especially those that involve early childhood programs for young children. A description of the current alternative practices of early childhood programs will be discussed. These will include the physical and temporal environments as well as curricular strategies that are being implemented. The innovative ways that both teachers and children are doing to address this outbreak will likewise be tackled. Finally, observations and experiences of early childhood teachers and daycare workers will be shared.