Czeizel Barbara, Fehér Boróka, Hajtó Krisztina, Kemény Gabriella, Vályi Réka:

Is Security Above All? Questions of Equal Access to Early Childhood Intervention during COVID-19 Pandemic

2022/2 | #access to services #COVID #early childhood intervention #innovation #mental health of mothers | DOI: 10.31287/FT.en.2022.2.7

There are several reasons for examining the access to early childhood intervention at the earliest possible age during the COVID-19 pandemic. The consequences of the lack of early and widespread access to quality services are well documented, delays might cause irreparable damage, which could lead to challenges in long-term social integration. The article introduces the findings of an online survey exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic affected expectant women and those giving birth, as well as their experiences of the health care system and early intervention services in Hungary. To illustrate how measures in focus access to early intervention can be introduced under such circumstances, we describe a good practice in the field of services.
Our data shows that even though less medical examinations were cancelled or postponed than expected, these as well as early intervention mostly took place in the private sector. The majority of mothers faced a high level of stress and anxiety – especially during the restrictions. While depression among mothers did not rise significantly, the feeling of loneliness doubled. 27% turned to a specialist for support – mostly to a psychologist, and an unexpectedly high rate of parents contacted a specialist on parent-infant relationships.