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Influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on early child development: exploring individual variations, nursery daycare quality and parental depression
  1. Cindy-Lee Dennis1,2,
  2. Gerry Giesbrecht3,
  3. Nicole Letourneau4
  1. 1 Lawrence S Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  4. 4 Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Cindy-Lee Dennis, Lawrence S Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; cindylee.dennis{at}

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Commentary on: Sato K, Fukai T, Fujisawa KK, Nakamuro M. Association Between the COVID-19 Pandemic and Early Childhood Development. JAMA Pediatr. 2023 Sep 1;177(9):930-938. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2023.2096 .


Implications for practice and research

  • Strategies to systematically identify and mange children with delayed development due to the pandemic are required to minimise long-term negative effects.

  • Younger children (1–3 years of age) may have been less prone to negative effects of the pandemic than older children (3–5 years of age)

  • Nursery daycare quality may have reduced the negative effects of the pandemic.


While there is growing international evidence the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the academic performance of school-age children, few studies have specifically examined early childhood development and differences between infants and preschoolers. Sato and colleagues addressed this limitation.1


The purpose of the study was to examine the association between the COVID-19 pandemic and early child development using census-based cohort data from a Japanese municipality investigating both population mean and …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.