Supporting Children and Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Updated April 7, 2020, 10:38 AM: We will continue to update this page with the latest information on talking to children and families about Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
See also: Activities for Families at Home
Guidance, Toolkits and Handouts
Children need factual, age appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk and concrete instruction about how to avoid infections and spread of disease. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Families Together, Inc.)
Families Together, Inc. provides ways to help families navigate the COVID-19 crisi when their child/youth has a disability. The site provides links to social stories and visuals, articles and videos that help explain COVID-19. Also included are links to disability specific resources ranging from anxiety to visual impairment.
COVID-19 (TRANSFORM Research Center)
The TRANSFORM Research Center builds on current state-of-the-art research methodologies and clinical practices to foster the next generation of professionals committed to addressing the deleterious and persistent personal and societal burden associated with child abuse and neglect. They have compiled several resources relevant to parents and professionals who work with youth.
COVID-19 Resources Specific for Individuals with I/DD and ASD and their Families (University of Colorado)
This large table of links includes resources for talking to families of children with disabilities.
Session 2: Video Home Routines
This video by the PELE Center at University of Denver provides a brief explanation of the importance of a balanced, consistent predicable home routine. With possible extended school closures it is important to support families as they try to balance their work from home routines as well as daily family routines. This video has written materials that provide additional resources to support classroom partners and their families as they navigate the challenges of building new home routines.
With the increasing prevalence of Coronavirus, caregivers might be feeling challenged by the change in routines, the need for social distancing, or fear and anxiety. Children might also be feeling this way, too. The following tips offer some guidance for caregivers supporting children at this time.
Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (NCTSN)
This flyer can help parents and caregivers think about how an infectious disease outbreak might affect them- both physically and emotionally- and what they can do to help children cope.
Resources for Supporting Children's Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Child Trends)
This guidance, recommendations, and resources are provided by child trauma experts at Child Trends and the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts, with funding from SAMHSA and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and additional support from HRSA.
Resources to help Families during COVID-19 (Fred Rogers Productions)
Fred Rogers Productions offers a compilation of virtual events, activities, and other social initiatives for children and families to use during the COVID-19 crisis. They are also sharing one activity, craft or recipe each day on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (NAFSCE)
NAFSCE has assembled a collection of learning resources, free or reduced cost services, and information sources related to engaging families.
This series of modules from Dr. Kevin Plummer provides guidelines to help parents support their children while they are home from school.
Supporting Families During COVID-19 (Child Mind Institute)
To support families during the COVID-19 crisis, the Child Mind Institute provides clinical and supportive resources for parents struggling to balance work, childcare and self-care. They include Facebook Live video chats with expert clinicians and articles on managing anxiety, autism and the coronavirus and how to support and give structure to kids with ADHD during the coronavirus crisis. Families can also receive daily email tips for parenting during this crisis.
Tips for Families: Coronavirus (ZERO TO THREE)
Zero to Three offers tips for families including age-appropriate responses to common questions, a guide to self-care, and activities for young children experiencing social distancing.
Tips For Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak (SAMHSA)
This tip sheet describes feelings and thoughts you may have during and after social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. It also suggests ways to care or your behavioral health during these experiences and provides resources for more help.
Working and Learning from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak (Healthy Children)
The American Academy of Pediatrics tackles the question - how do we care for our children while working and schooling at home, and not panic during this unprecedented outbreak? The tips offered, such as keeping to a daily routine and schedule and ensuring that increased screen time is positive and helpful, will help families cope with this "new normal" until the virus is under control.
Resources in Additional Languages
These include national and international resources for early childhood professionals and families. Some resources are provided in multiple languages.