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Children feared not being able to hug friends on their return to childcare

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'NCN board member Imelda Graham said carers may have to deal with a release of pent-up emotions in the little ones, as well as confusion.' (stock photo)

'NCN board member Imelda Graham said carers may have to deal with a release of pent-up emotions in the little ones, as well as confusion.' (stock photo)

'NCN board member Imelda Graham said carers may have to deal with a release of pent-up emotions in the little ones, as well as confusion.' (stock photo)

Some children worried they would not be picked up if they fell when they returned to childcare during the Covid-19 crisis.

And others feared that they could not hug their friends, according to new research.

A National Childhood Network (NCN) survey found almost 40pc of pre-school children were anxious or concerned about returning to childcare.

Some expressed worries about the virus, while others wondered if playing with friends would still be allowed.

However, just 10pc said they were sad to be going back, according to the national survey of 1,711 children.

"Many of the children expressed sophisticated concerns, reflecting considerable awareness and understanding of the health threat that has emerged in recent months and how their lives have had to change," said a spokesperson for the group.

"Over 60pc of children said they were happy and excited to go back to their early learning and care settings, however."

Children spoke of loving their friends, missing their teacher and being excited about going back.

Being reunited with friends and teachers, circle-time and stories, and the opportunity to play, sing, draw and dress-up were among the top things they looked forward to.

NCN board member Imelda Graham said carers may have to deal with a release of pent-up emotions in the little ones, as well as confusion.

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