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Wash your hands, stay home if you are sick, and abide by physical distancing is all good advice but how do you really do that with children at home especially if you need to work?
This page has information on health, childcare, supporting children, food, and financial assistance.
The ECCS has also published a list of educational resources and activities to do with your children at http://www.southingtonearlychildhood.org/free-educational-resources-and-activities-during-covid-19/
We will continue to update this list and share information on our social media pages.
Center for Disease Control (CDC) information on COVID-19 for households: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/index.html
Connecticut Department of Public Health page: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
Have questions about COVID-19, email the Plainville Southington Health District at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their site at www.pshd.org.
Call the Bristol Health COVID-19 Hotline at (860) 261-6855 or the Hartford Healthcare hotline at (860) 972-8100 or 1-833-621-0600 (toll-free)
For emergency abuse or domestic violence concerns, contact the Southington Police Department by calling 911. If you need help, but can’t safely speak on the phone or are unable to speak, use your mobile phone to send a text message to 9-1-1.
Concerned about an abusive situation? Reach out to Safe Connect Connecticut, the statewide domestic violence hotline that cover 18 member programs, including the Prudence Crandall Center. They receive the calls, do a thorough assessment of needs, emotional support, safety planning and options, and then, depending what the clients are searching for, they may provide help obtaining counseling/support group, shelter, housing assistance, basic needs.
Call (888) 774-2900, email email@example.com or chat at https://ctsafeconnect.com/.
The Southington Behavioral Health Resource Directory is a comprehensive guide to behavioral health and community resources including outpatient and inpatient care for children, adolescents, and adults, as well as details about confidential assessments, short and long-term counseling, psychotherapy, family therapy, and mental health treatment. The directory also includes information about accessing transportation and food as well as new information regarding drug collection drop boxes, treatment for opioid misuse, health services, and advocacy.
Keeping Your New Baby Safe in the Time of Covid 19 – a brochure from the Office of Early Childhood.
UPDATED 5/15. This list will be updated as the situation changes.
With Southington School buildings closed through the end of the year and essential workers continuing to serve, working parents need to find other options for childcare.
The ECCS has asked childcare providers in town about who can help.
These centers plan to remain open, subject to government restrictions
Contact information for these centers is in the ECCS Resource Directory.
You can also visit https://www.211childcare.org or call 2 – 1 – 1 for openings State-wide.
There are some family childcare providers in town who have openings and are willing to offer care in non-traditional hours, contact us if you want info.
The following programs are temporarily closed:
There are four licensed summer camp programs in town. At this time they have not announced their plans for this summer. Guidance from the Office of Early Childhood and their national association will be released in mid-May. Once the camps have had time to review this information they will make a decision if and how they will open.
The places that offer part day programs, which don’t fall under the OEC licensing, would need to meet the group size restrictions which are currently 5 people. This would impact the 1/2 day dance camps, art camps, theater camps, etc.
Governor Lamont has include childcare providers on the list of essential businesses and will be keeping them open.
3/17/2020: “The Office of Early Childhood is in close talks with the Governor, the Department of Public Health (DPH), and the state’s Emergency Operation Center. We are monitoring closely and will continue to communicate with you. These are unprecedented times. Child Care is a critical part of our infrastructure.”
The CT Office of Early Childhood has issued several Memos with regulation waivers and advice to childcare providers and parents. You can find the full list and information for families on their new Covid-19 response page: https://www.ctoec.org/covid-19/.
For Kindergarten students starting in Fall of 2020, the Southington Public Schools was able to open the online registration process and hold the in-person registration session at 7 of the 8 elementary schools before the COVID-19 crisis caused schools to close. The secretary at Strong School is reaching out to parents who registered online to attend that school to make arrangements to submit the residency documents online or via mail. Online registration is still open for those haven’t done it yet.
Spring orientation, which is usually held in May, has been cancelled since schools are closed. School administrators are working on plans for orientation and updating parents. This will be released after the decision about how to hold classes in the fall are confirmed.
You will find some consistent advice in these articles. Children need to feel safe, thrive on routine, and learn through play. Don’t forget to get outside.
How to Prepare for School Closings and Not Lose Your Mind
Talking with Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Services Administration.
When children and youth watch news on TV about an infectious disease outbreak, read about it in the news, or overhear others discussing it, they can feel scared, confused, or anxious—as much as adults. This tip sheet will help parents, caregivers, and teachers learn some common reactions, respond in a helpful way, and know when to seek support.
Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
Child Mind Institute – Kids worry more when they’re kept in the dark
Peg Oliveira, PhD, Executive Director of the Gesell Institute of Child Development at the Yale Child Study Center.
“In this reset, my intention is to first accept that this is a trying time for them and for us. As always, until we attend to our social and emotional needs, learning cannot happen. Let’s take time to help kids feel safe and connected, first and foremost. And then if we do have time and energy to commit to homeschooling, let’s put it into building active, engaged, meaningful, and social experiences for our kids, rather than strapping them to a desk, yet again, to do worksheets and math programs.”
Sesame Street – Caring for Each Other
Your friends on Sesame Street are here to support you and your family during the COVID-19 health crisis. This site provides content and resources you can use with your family to offer comfort and spark playful learning activities. Click on Elmo’s Virtual Hug to learn how this site will provide sing-a-longs, storytimes, learning, and video playdates. https://www.sesamestreet.org/caring
Social-Emotional Needs of Children During this Crisis
Texas School Librarian Carolyn Foote compiled mental health resources regarding talking to kids about the virus and self-care tips for students and teachers. https://wakelet.com/wake/6a18dd66-7119-4bbb-ba82-48d5be33ab77
About Grief and Death
The ECCS has created an article about talking to and supporting children with grief and death at http://www.southingtonearlychildhood.org/grief-and-death/
Author Manuela Molina has created a picture book to support and reassure children under the age of seven and their families regarding COVID-19 and the range of emotions it brings up. She recommends families and educators all over the world print this material so children can draw on it. Click on the link for translations in 22 languages. https://www.mindheart.co/descargables
My Hero is You
“My Hero is You” is a book written for children around the world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “My Hero is You” should be read by a parent, caregiver or teacher alongside a child or a small group of children. The book is aimed primarily at children aged 6-11 years old to teach them how they can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus, and how to manage difficult emotions when confronted with a new and rapidly changing reality. You can learn more about the book and find it in 30 different languages at https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/iasc-reference-group-mental-health-and-psychosocial-support-emergency-settings/my-hero-you-0
Be a Coronavirus Fighter
What is coronavirus? Why can’t I go outside and play with my friends? What should I do? This informative picture book explains the current virus situation in simple terms and urges children to help fight it! https://yeehoopress.com/coronavirus-picturebook/
Captain Corona & the 19 COVID Warriors
This informative and accessible guide for young readers defines the coronavirus, explains why everyday routines have been disrupted, and lays out how everyone can do their part to help. With child-appropriate answers and explanations, the book addresses several key questions. https://melissagratias.com/captaincorona/
Staying at Home
Staying Home is about a family of raccoons going through a day in lockdown – no school, no nursery, no work – and explaining to the youngest members of the family how they’re doing their part to save lives just by staying home! https://www.andersenpress.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/STAYING_HOME_medium-res.pdf
A children’s story about the Coronavirus (Covid-19) that helps them understand the situation, stay safe and healthy, and occupy their time during school closures. https://www.fmirza.com/the-vironaut/#more-682
Other local mental health professionals can be found in the Resources section of our website.
The Southington Public Schools has expanded its free “grab-and-go” breakfast and lunch program.
“The meals are free to any student of a closed school age 18 and under in addition to younger siblings in the household. We will be offering meals on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and we will provide 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches for each child each day.”
“This program is available to all families and we know many may be experiencing reduced income with so many businesses shutting down. We want everyone to know they can participate regardless of income level.”
These meals will meet the federal meal pattern guidelines and will be bagged or boxed to be picked up and consumed off-site.
The Southington Public Schools will be including some meals that will need to be heated beginning Monday, May 11th. This will change up the menu items and provide more variety for our families. Heating instructions are here.
Distribution for Memorial Day will be on Tuesday, May 26th instead. The last scheduled day for the Grab & Go program is planned for Monday, June 15th.
All elementary schools will be offering meals and the hours for pick up will be 11:30-12:30 pm.
A parent, guardian, or student can drive up and someone will come to the car to greet you and bring meals outside. Specific curbside locations are listed below:
Derynoski Cafeteria side
Oshana Cafeteria side
Flanders Front Entrance
Kelley Front Entrance
South End Front Entrance
Thalberg Front Entrance
Hatton Preschool Entrance
Strong Back of School
Located at 31 Vermont Avenue in Southington, provides meals to those in need. Lunch is served at noon Monday-Saturday and dinner is served at 6:00 pm on Wednesday. You are welcome to drop by for a meal to-go during these times.
Located at 91 Norton Street in Plantsville, can assist in providing food and other resources to residents in need. They are also in need of donations which can be dropped off at their location between the hours of 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. http://www.southington.org/content/17216/17290/default.aspx
Have you lost your job as a result of the CoronaVirus crisis? Connecticut’s Department of Labor encourages all residents who lose their job due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak to file for unemployment benefits. Click HERE to access the site.
Our friends at the Middlesex Coalition for Children are maintaining a list of links related to Early Childhood Advocacy, the Childcare System, Employee and Employer Information, and Federal and State Advocacy at http://www.middlesexchildren.org/post/covid-19-advocacy-documents-including-webinar-recordings-questions-and-files.
For parents and caregivers who need someone to listen, to understand, and to talk your feelings out. Talk It Out Line 1-833-258-5011 http://www.talkitoutct.com/
Check out the ECCS list of places that provide assistance in our Resources directory.