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Wash your hands, stay home if you are sick, and abide by physical distancing is all good advice during a pandemic 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.
UPDATE – COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for children as young as 5 years old. Details and future vaccine updates can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/children-teens.html
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a website about Covid19 and children. This includes weekly reports about cases in children by state and vaccination rates in children. https://www.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/
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 email@example.com, 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 on what the clients are searching for, they may provide help obtaining counseling/support groups, shelter, housing assistance, basic needs.
Call (888) 774-2900, email firstname.lastname@example.org or chat at https://ctsafeconnect.com/.
Check out our Mental Health page for State and local resources.
Keeping Your New Baby Safe in the Time of Covid 19 – a brochure from the Office of Early Childhood.
Supporting Children’s, Families’ and Staff’s Mental Health Upon Return to School During Covid-19 was presented on June 25, 2020, via Zoom for the childcare providers in town by Presenter: Julie Condit, Early Childhood Consultant, Early Childhood Consultation Partnership at Wheeler Clinic.
All childcare centers and family childcare providers in town are currently open, subject to government recommendations on group sizes, mask wearing, and other COVID safety requirements. But, most of them are full.
The ECCS tracks childcare openings.
You can also visit https://www.211childcare.org or call 2 – 1 – 1 for openings State-wide.
Contact information for all providers and summer programs is in the ECCS Resource Directory.
Care4Kids is an existing program that helps low to moderate-income families pay for child care. As of July 1, 2021 they increased the income limit.
Their site has a screening tool to help you decide if you are eligible. https://www.ctcare4kids.com
Governor Lamont included childcare providers on the list of essential businesses and they were kept open in 2020-21.
“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/.
Information about registering for Kindergarten in the Fall of 2022 is now available. Learn more on the ECCS Kindergarten Registration page.
The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) provided guidance regarding kindergarten transition in the publication Transitioning to Kindergarten: the Why, What and How of this Important Milestone for Connecticut Students.
It says: “The law regarding kindergarten eligibility remains the same. It is important to keep in mind that all young children entering kindergarten will have experienced disruptions to the experiences anticipated prior to their entry to kindergarten. The practice of retaining children who are age-eligible for kindergarten in preschool should only be considered for very unique and extenuating circumstances.”
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
The ECCS has been hosting bi-weekly calls with childcare educators in town and is a resource for questions.
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.
Check out the ECCS list of places that provide assistance in our Resources directory.