Updated: May 22
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented change and uncertainty to the early childhood community. Everything has changed, from cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting practices, to social distancing, learning from home, and shelter-in-place orders. Throughout the past couple of months, we have been talking to child care programs, administrators, directors, teachers, providers, parents, and staff to find out what they need to respond to and recover from the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve collected a list of great resources, activities, and online courses to help the early childhood community navigate through the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Childcare At Home Family Learning Resources
Childcare At Home is a collaborative effort between four daycare teams across the country; Smart From the Start Preschool & Childcare, The Nook Childcare & Preschool, Tiny Tot, and Wise Owl Daycare. Their helpful website provides art projects, circle time ideas, enrichment, ways to get moving, cooking ideas, parent resources, read-a-loud ideas, sensory activities, Spanish-language activities, S.T.E.A.M. activities, teaching videos, and more!
Why We Love It:
These free activities and low-cost projects are a great way for children to continue their learning from home. Families have on-demand access to engaging learning content for their children! Learn more: Click Here!
Self-Care Template From the Strengthening Families Team at the YMCA
Our friends at YMCA Community Support Services have created a free-to-download self-care template! It includes spaces for reflection, gratitude, inspiration, and uplifting thoughts. Another section includes strategies for physical self-care, mental well-being, relational and social self-care, and spiritual well-being.
Why We Love It:
At the bottom of the template, there is a space for weekly priorities and intentions. We appreciate this approach, so individuals won’t feel overwhelmed with trying to accomplish everything all at once. We love that this template helps parents, children, and families relax by taking a moment to breathe and smile. We’re all in this together, and taking care of ourselves, mentally and physically, while staying home is a high priority. Download your template today: Click Here!
Digital Youth Preparedness Resources from the American Red Cross
Our friends at the American Red Cross have some ideas on how to keep children engaged while teaching them something valuable at the same time! No formal instruction is needed, and these free emergency preparedness activities can be downloaded and used in the comfort of your own home.
Why We Love It:
Emergencies don’t stop, not even during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important that children learn how to prepare and respond to emergencies and know how to stay safe and calm. Resources for educators, households, and youth can be found on RedCross.org/youthprep. Be sure to check it out!
Institute for Childhood Preparedness Coloring Competition
Coloring is a great way for both children and adults to relieve stress and anxiety. According to CNN, “Coloring has the therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring more mindfulness." And, just like meditation, “coloring also allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate free-floating anxiety.” To do our part in helping child care providers, families, and children maintain positive mental health practices, we partnered with an artist to create Coping Through Coloring, a set of coloring pages for children and adults.
We can’t wait to see your coloring skills and where your imagination takes you! We will be accepting submissions for our coloring book contest until June 30, 2020, and winners will receive prizes! Download your coloring book today: Click Here!
Communicating With Families During COVID-19 Coronavirus
Our friends at HiMama came out with a great resource blog on how to effectively communicate with families during COVID-19. HiMama suggests:
Be open, honest, and direct with families.
When implementing new emergency plans, update families and staff through the childcare app, email, and text consistently.
Be available to answer any questions, comments, or concerns within your community.
If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case at your child care program, confirm with families that there is a case, be respectful, and contact your local health department for the next steps.
Keep calm and composed, and assure families that they are not alone during this difficult time.
Provide credible resources to families, staff, and children.
Read the full blog post: Click Here!
Navigating the Reopening Process During COVID-19 Coronavirus
Our friends at Kangarootime put together helpful guides for child care providers on how to effectively communicate with their families and how to confidently resume operations. Their guide also lists the Institute’s online training courses under the staff training section, and we are thankful for the kind recommendation. Kangrootime’s administrative reopening guidance includes advice for:
Deciding when to reopen
How to reassess current operations
Issuing CDC guidelines and regulations
Reimagining your new child care operations
Training for your staff
Staff management: returning to work
Download Kangarootime’s resource guides: Click Here!
Online Coronavirus Training Courses from the Institute for Childhood Preparedness
Our online training courses are designed specifically for childcare professionals and those that care for infants, toddlers, and children. Early childhood professionals can continue their online learning from home and acquire new skills, tools, actionable tips, and resources. Our online training courses are cost-effective and on-demand 24/7, allowing you to work at your pace and earn a certificate of completion.
Our online training instructors are award-winning experts with backgrounds in pandemic preparedness, emergency preparedness, environmental health, law enforcement, early childhood education, public health, mental and behavioral health, and food safety. Enroll in one of our online courses today: Click Here!
COVID-19 Coronavirus Online Courses
Emergency Preparedness Online Courses
Continue to check back, as the Institute will be releasing new courses every week. To be the first to find out about our new online training courses, subscribe to our newsletter: Subscribe!
The COVID-19 coronavirus is an extraordinary time in modern history, and child care providers have stepped up as essential workers to help children and families. We applaud the dedication of all early childhood professionals who are helping their communities during this time of crisis. Thank you, you are our heroes!
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