There is growing awareness of the impacts of COVID-19 on children, families, and more recently, early childhood educators. This study aimed to add to this research and explore Australian early childhood educators’ psychological distress and wellbeing in relation to COVID-19. Accordingly, 205 educators (117 early childhood educators, 86 leaders and 2 others) completed the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, measuring levels of post-traumatic distress, and an open-ended question on wellbeing, both in relation to COVID-19. Educators’ responses to the open-ended question were matched to those who scored high, medium, and low on the Impact of Events Scale-Revised. Results demonstrated 66.8% of educators scored in the low range for post-traumatic distress, 11.7% scored in the moderate range, and 21.5% scored in the high range for post-traumatic distress on the Impact of Events Scale-Revised. Participants scoring in the low range on the Impact of Events Scale-Revised provided fewer comments regarding the emotional impacts of COVID-19. There were no differences between the groups in terms of fear of COVID-19 infection, challenges related to increased workload during the pandemic, and frustration with the Australian government response to COVID-19. Educators and early childhood leaders reported comparable wellbeing challenges during the pandemic. This research has implications for the types of support provided to educators during future pandemics.
- Post-traumatic distress
- Early childhood