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COVID-19 Resources for Families and Child Care Providers

COVID-19 Resources for Families and Child Care Providers
Posted on April 6, 2020 by CHS

Resources for Families and Child Care Providers during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

As our nation continues to take steps to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and care for those who are ill, many families find themselves facing new challenges. The statewide order to shelter in place has created the need for many families to home school their children while also working from home. Essential workers and first responders are exempt from the order, but they may be faced with finding child care and trying to stay healthy as they work longer hours. During this challenging time, we offer the following information and resources to help you locate services you may need as you work to keep your family healthy and help your child learn.

General Resources

Resource and Referral Programs can help parents find child care and resources. Most Resource and Referral Programs offer the option of searching for child care on their website. If you are in the greater Long Beach area, Orange County, Sutter County, Yolo County, or Yuba County you can search for child care or find resources for your county related to the novel coronavirus on Children’s Home Society of California’s (CHS) website.

The California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response website offers information and updates about COVID-19, an explanation of what the Shelter In Place Order means, and links to information about education, employment, taxes, health care, and help for small businesses during the pandemic.

The California Department of Public Health website  has current information about the COVID-19, testing locations, detailed information for staying healthy, and a list of phone lines for their county offices.

Parents can use the California Meals for Kids mobile application to locate meals for children up to eighteen years old during school closures. The application is available for iOS, Android, or Microsoft devices. This article from EdSoruce describes how picking up meals for kids works.

Many grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and other businesses that sell food or household goods are offering options to order online and schedule a pick-up or delivery time. There may also be special shopping hours for senior citizens or people with disabilities. Visit your local store’s website for information.

KQED news answers questions about filing for unemployment and other work benefits in California during the pandemic on their website. You can read or listen to the information.

If you are a child care provider, the Community Care Licensing website contains direct links to Provider Information Notices (PINs) which contain specific guidance for child care providers. There is also a survey link available for child care providers who are willing to provide emergency child care. Parents and child care providers can also email specific child care questions to If you send an email please state whether you are a parent, child care center, or family child care home in the subject line.

Child care providers can find information regarding business guidance and loans on the U.S. Small Business Administration website, or learn about loans that are immediately available from the small business administration on the First Five Years Fund website. Family Child Care Home providers can find additional resources for financial assistance here.

The Child Care Law Center website has a question and answer page dedicated to family child care home providers who are being impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Resources to Keep Children Learning

Learning from home may be a new experience for you and your child, just like teaching from home is a new experience for many educators, but there are a lot of resources online to assist you. Make sure you develop a routine for you and your child that includes specific times for learning and playing together. Use screen time for learning and encourage your child to spend time offline for hobbies and creative interests.

Talk to your child about the coronavirus and why everyone who is able is staying home. You can find guidance for how to talk about the coronavirus from PBS, the Los Angeles County Department of Education, Zero to Three, the New York Times, or NPR.

Sit down with your child and ask them to help you make a list of things to do that do not require a computer. Post the list where your child can see it. Then during downtime for play or self-directed learning, invite your child to choose an activity from the list. You can also write out a daily schedule to post that includes time for active learning, playing, and household chores.

This is also an opportunity to share family history by looking at photographs or preparing family recipes together. You can also teach children how to prepare simple meals, sew on a button, clip coupons, and do household maintenance like dusting, mopping, vacuuming, laundry, or changing a light bulb. Learning life skills is an important part of your child’s education.

If your child needs tutoring assistance and is between the ages of five and eighteen, GoPeer can connect you with free tutoring from a college student. Whether you are a parent of educator, the links below will help you keep children learning.

For ideas that cover all areas of learning, try the following websites:

  • Wide Open School offers parents and educators resources for creating a daily learning schedule, planning activities, and more.
  • First 5 Orange County has Kid Builders which can be viewed and printed that contain activities for infants through age four.
  • Sign up for a daily newsletter of activities from PBS for your preschool or school aged child, or explore their educational ideas for the whole family here.
  • Quality Start Los Angeles has created a list of free educational sites for early learners.
  • A Place of Our Own offers activity ideas for preschool aged children.
  • Discover activities for preschool aged children at the Child Care Lounge.
  • Visit Apples 4 the Teacher to discover learning activities for school aged children.
  • has activities and guided learning for school aged children.
  • The All Kids Network has learning activities for kindergarten through eighth grade.
  • The Smithsonian has a website with fun learning activities for elementary and teenage children.
  • The Los Angeles County Department of Education has compiled a list of resources and online learning information.

These websites offer language and literacy learning experiences:

  • Contact your local library to learn about online services and availability for checking out e-books or audible books from home.
  • Read our blog on how to support learning to discover tips and resources for all ages.
  • Discover children’s authors who are doing online reading and activities.
  • Authors of children’s and young adult books are reading online and providing learning activities. You can find links to their websites in this article.
  • Pernille Ripp shares links to picture book read aloud videos here.
  • The Junior Library Guild has compiled digital resources for online book chats, free digital books, and virtual author talks.
  • The Spanish Experiment website has children’s books that have been translated into Spanish and are read aloud by native speakers.
  • Bilingual Kidspot has free online books in multiple languages for children.
  • Scholastic has created weekly learning plans for preschoolers through ninth grade that include activities.
  • Writing Blueprints provides online writing instruction for ages six to ten.
  • April is Caring for the Environment Month - Los Angeles Public Library

Explore science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) on these websites:

  • You can learn about STEM and discover activities, resources, and websites for encouraging STEM learning in infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school aged children in the STEM brochure by CHS.
  • Introduce preschoolers to science with these sensory play ideas from Learning 4 Kids.
  • Fairy Dust Teaching has ideas for exploring science with toddlers and preschoolers.
  • The Exploratorium website contains science learning activities for school aged children.
  • Time for Kids is giving kindergartners through grade six free digital subscriptions for the rest of the school year.
  • NASA has made their media library free to the public. Watch videos and learn about outer space.
  • Discover resources for teaching young children about math on the National Association for the Education of Young Children website.
  • Find math games for you and your school aged child to play on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics website.

Focus on social and emotional learning (SEL) with these ideas:

  • Help your child learn how to identify and manage emotions with these resources from Sesame Street in Communities.
  • The Understood website has five different social and emotional learning games.
  • Find resources for teaching your child about emotions on the We Are Teachers website.
  • The Kids Yoga Stories website has yoga poses to express feelings that you and your child can do together.
  • Healthy Minds has a YouTube channel with videos for school age children about mindfulness and working through stress.
  • Use YouTube videos to help teach your child to practice deep breathing that reduces stress, anxiety, and frustration. Try five finger breathing, butterfly breathing, relax with Sesame Street, sing along to the Belly Breathe song, or listen to the story Sea Otter Cove.
  • Cookie Monster teaches about self-control in this podcast and article by NPR.
  • Healthy shares how parents can help children develop resilience.
  • Find resources for social and emotional development on the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations website. You can search as a parent or educator.
  • Visit the Great Schools Emotional Toolbox for ideas of how to teach your school aged child about character and managing emotions.
  • Taproot Learning has learning activities for elementary school, middle school, and high school.
  • Your child can work through stress, be creative, and strengthen motor skills by playing with play dough. Visit the Learning 4 Kids website for homemade play dough recipes.

Get moving and stay healthy with these websites:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have videos and information for learning how to properly wash hands.
  • Joe Wicks has a YouTube channel with physical education (PE) videos for children.
  • Go Noodle has videos that guide children in moving and exercise.
  • Teach children how to make healthy food choices and be active with these ideas from the CalFresh Healthy Living website.
  • Build coordination by challenging your child to a hand clapping game.
  • Help your preschool child develop fine motor skills with these activities from the Imagination Tree.
  • You can find movement activities for young children on the Nemours Healthy Kids Healthy Future website.
  • Kids Can Cook offers a variety of recipes your child can help prepare.

Visit these websites to listen to music and learn about composers:

  • Kids Music Corner explores types of music and composers.
  • Kididdles has songs and lyrics. You can search all songs or by types of songs.
  • Classics for Kids offers lessons and games about classical music composers and how to read music as well as a radio station and podcasts.
  • The Smithsonian Folkways Radio Recordings has a collection of folk music from different cultures, jazz, and blues for listening and viewing.
  • The Story Blocks website has videos of songs and rhymes for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in a variety of languages.
  • Watch fifteen Broadway plays and musicals on stage at home. Visit the Playbill website to access links.

Go on a virtual field trip to see museums, gardens, and animals with these websites:

  • Take a tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to learn about the history of our planet and how humans interact with the environment.
  • Visit the House Beautiful website to tour eight museums and five gardens from around the world.
  • Visit the National Aquarium’s livestream exhibits to observe marine life.
  • Watch livecams of baboons, penguins, polar bears, apes, giraffes, elephants, tigers, and more on the San Diego Zoo website.
  • The Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park has a livecam of the river and forest. Try to spot river otters, bald eagles, and other animals.

Spend time being creative with these websites for art, craft, and game ideas:

  • The Smithsonian offers open access to download and reuse digital images from across their nineteen museums and national zoo.
  • Fairy Dust Teaching has ideas for art experiences and imaginative play for toddlers and preschoolers.
  • Red Tricycle shares twenty-five minute to win it games for school aged children.
  • Invite school aged children and teenagers to try origami (paper folding) art projects from
  • The GreatED website by Crayola offers creative projects and resources for learning at home.
  • Visit the Kid Activities website for games, jokes, and other fun activities.
  • Hands On as We Grow has activities and projects for toddlers and preschoolers, as well as activities and games that can be made from recycled materials.
  • Learn how to make edible paint on the Imagination Tree website.

Educational television or video programs to watch:

  • You can learn about the educational content of programs, movies, and apps by visiting Common Sense Media. They also provide free lessons for teaching children digital leadership on their website.
  • PBS offers a wide variety of educational programs for kids that can be watched on television or online.
  • Schoolhouse Rock has a YouTube channel with all their episodes which are geared towards elementary school learners.
  • Homeschool Hideout shares this list of over 150 educational programs you can add to a Netflix account.

The California Department of Education (CDE) Resources for Family Engagement and Professional Development is available here

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