Survey of NC Pre-K Teachers Reveals Successes and Challenges of the Transition to Remote Learning During COVID-19

Survey of NC Pre-K Teachers Reveals Successes and Challenges of the Transition to Remote Learning During COVID-19

Durham, N.C. – July 27, 2020 – The Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University today released a report of findings from a statewide survey of the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program (NC Pre-K), focusing on NC Pre-K teachers and their transition to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 3,000 NC Pre-K teachers completed the survey between May 26 and June 15, 2020, responding to questions about providing remote learning services to children and families during the statewide quarantine.

“I believe that the findings presented in this report shed light on the hard work that NC Pre-K teachers undertook to navigate a very difficult transition to remote learning during the spring. This report also identifies areas where NC Pre-K teachers need more support as they prepare for the likelihood that remote learning services will continue to be required this fall,” said Robert Carr, research scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy and author of the report. Carr hopes the data will be used to guide action and decisionmaking in support of NC Pre-K teachers as they work to support the development and wellbeing of the state’s most vulnerable children and families.

The primary findings from educator responses include:

  • NC Pre-K teachers were successful in continuing to serve an overwhelming majority of children and families enrolled in their classrooms, with only ~4% of enrolled children and families not being served at all
  • Among the five developmental domains outlined in the North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development, the majority of teachers (> 40%) identified Emotional and Social Development as most difficult to teach remotely
  • The majority of NC Pre-K teachers felt that they were able to effectively deliver remote learning services

Carr also points to several policy recommendations that could be implemented for future periods of remote learning. Among them include:

  • Provide teachers with formal guidance and training regarding the adaptation of classroom curriculum for remote learning, focusing on curriculum related to emotional and social development
  • Provide teachers with guidance and training regarding the effective use of video-based communication platforms to deliver remote learning services
  • Establish guidelines and supports for teachers to provide remote learning services at least twice per week to all children who require these services, and identify a select number of children and families who desire remote learning services on a daily basis, focusing on children with special learning needs (e., exceptional children, dual language learners)

This research was supported by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Download the full report: “The North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program and Remote Learning Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings from a Statewide Survey of Teachers