Children’s wellbeing a priority

New research completed by Camp Australia in December 2020, reveals that 2020 saw a significant decrease in physical and mental wellbeing in children aged six to 12 years.

Camp Australia that the disruptions caused by Covid-19 to school children aged six to 12 years has had a significant impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.

1,138 Australian parents and 124 principals from Camp Australia’s partner schools were surveyed as part of the research, with results revealing that 69% of parents and 90% of principals surveyed reported a decrease in physical wellbeing, paired with feelings of being disconnected.

These feelings accompanied the transition to remote learning and restrictions from the onset of the pandemic.

“We already knew 2020 was stressful for children but we wanted to identify from parents and principals how we could better support children’s growth as we headed into 2021,” says Brett Comer, Chief Operating Officer for Camp Australia.

“The data indicated how parents and principals viewed what were the significant impacts they saw on children’s physical and mental wellbeing.

“There was a big drop in wellbeing from a loss of connection with friendship groups and family and decreased participation in physical activities as children’s screen consumption habits increased.

“Knowing this impact will help parents and educators to work together to address this when children go back to school.

“Children have shown incredible resilience throughout last year, as the research also showed, however screen time habits will be hard to break.

“The challenge this year will be supporting children transition into the new Covid Normal world we all hope includes more time for children to be active and interact socially again.

“Camp Australia will be playing our part in helping children to get moving and participating in fun physical activity with one another by hosting the biggest ever, national handball championship for [Outside School Hours Care] OSHC children in Term 1, 2021.”

Anxiety due to fear and uncertainty

The research also reveals more than 69%and almost all principals (97%) reported anxiety in children due to the fear and uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

However, 66% of parents reported no difficulty in their kids re-adjusting to face-to-face school.

Encouragingly, children’s resilience and independence increased across the board in 2020, according to parents (74%) and principals (94%).

Words describing 2020

As part of the research more than 1,200 children from 170 schools were asked to choose one word to describe 2020, the top three words included: fun, good and happy.

When asked, ‘What’s the one thing you are most excited about next year?’, the key themes were:

  • Cooking;
  • Meeting new friends;
  • Teachers;
  • Family;
  • Holidays;
  • Birthdays;
  • Getting involved in new activities.

Other key findings

Other key findings from the research include:

  • 80% of parents and 93% of principals reported children felt disconnected from friends and family due to remote learning and restrictions.
  • 91% of principals and 59% of parents indicated 2020 had some sort of negative impact on learning and progress for children generally.
  • Almost all principals (96%) indicated an increase in appreciation from children of the wider community (e.g., healthcare workers) and those impacted by the pandemic.

Camp Australia is said to be Australia’s leading provider of OSHC, who’s mission is Guiding Children’s Growth through their services.

For more information about the research, visit: