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This is a very difficult time for parents. Schools have been closed because of COVID-19, but they are making plans to open again. We will keep this page updated with news for parents about school. On this page, you will also find ways to get help and support for you and your children.
Many schools in the USA are deciding to re-open in the fall. But the decision and process are not the same in every district. In many places, children will go to school for less time. In other places, they will go back to a regular schedule, but there will be new rules about distancing, hand-washing, and wearing masks. Some schools may continue with distance learning only.
Not all schools have announced their plans yet. The decision about when to open schools will be made by public health officials. This page has updated information about when schools will open in every state.
It is important to remember that plans may change again once school starts. Keep checking for new information with your local health department or school.
Daycares and childcare programs in all states are opening according to their local rules. Use this map to find details and resources in your state. You can also get information from your local health department or school.
Is it safe to bring my child to child care?
Here is information from Childcare Aware of America about what your childcare provider can do to keep things clean and safe.
Do you need to speak to someone at your child’s school? Maybe you do not know who to call. To find the website of your child’s school, type “find my local school” into your browser and choose from the list that comes up. If the information you need is not on the school website, call the phone number on the website.
The school staff are still working. Where schools cannot open, teachers provide “distance learning.” This means they continue to teach students even though your child is at home. You can contact your child’s school if you have questions about distance learning.
Your child will need internet access to learn at home. If you cannot afford internet at home, there are programs to help you.
- EveryoneOn can help you get free or low-cost internet service and equipment. To find low-cost internet service in your area, go to the EveryoneOn website. Then:
1) enter your zip code
2) answer a question about your income
3) see the low-cost options in your area.
- Lifeline is a government program to help people pay for internet and phone service. Its information page is available in six languages. You will need to prove that you are low-income. You will also need ID.
For distance learning, schools put their lessons online for students to do at home. Many also have a system for families who do not have internet and a computer. If they have a system, you can pick up materials from the school for your child to study at home. The school staff can tell you how to do this. If you use email, you probably have an email address for your child’s teacher. If you do not, contact the school by phone.
If your children received school meals while the school was open, they will continue to get food when school starts again, even if the school classes are closed. Your school or school district will give you information.
Advice for parents with children at home
The CDC has this advice for parents:
- Remain calm and reassuring.
- Make yourself available to listen and to talk.
- Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.
- Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio or online.
- Give children information that is honest and accurate.
- Teach children how to stay healthy.
- Help children stay active – take them for walks and bicycle rides, and encourage indoor exercise!
Save the Children takes care of children all around the world. Its child experts have tips you can trust about how to talk your children about the coronavirus and COVD-19:
- Get informed and share the facts.
- Tailor your approach based on your child – think about whether more information makes them more or less anxious.
- Approach the subject simply and calmly – kids take their cues from you.
- Ask your child what they know, answer their questions and address any misinformation.
- Validate their feelings, while reassuring them – “I understand this can be scary. We’re taking steps to keep healthy, and we’re well prepared.”
- Remind them of what’s in their power – washing hands thoroughly and often, coughing and sneezing into their elbow, getting plenty of sleep, etc.
- Model good hygiene, and try to make it fun! Sing a favorite song while scrubbing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- UNICEF has information for parents in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, and Spanish.
- Here are some great tips for parents from the World Health Organization in English and in Spanish. We will add more languages when they are available.
- Khan Academy offers free online learning for all ages. Its pages for parents are in many languages.
- The Child Mind Institute has tips for parents and an opportunity for a video chat with professionals.
Here are some things you can show your children on your computer or mobile device.
- Read the wonderful COVI book in 25 languages. It will help everyone in the family feel better! You can download the pdf or read it online.
- Watch videos from Sesame Street about coronavirus hygiene.
- Read a coronavirus comic in Arabic.
- Read the “The Flying Scientist” in Arabic or in English.
- Find coronavirus information for children in Spanish.
- Find coronavirus information for children ages 3–6 and 7–12 and for teens in 35 languages.
- Colorín Colorado has educational resources in English and in Spanish.
- Booksmart is an app with hundreds of books in English, Arabic, Hindi and Spanish.
- The Khan Academy has free online classes for children from ages 4 to 18. You can change languages at the bottom of the page. To get started, go to the page about remote learning during school closures.
- Learning Heroes has resources for children and for parents in English and Spanish.
- Download a list of good websites and apps for young children.
- Lingokids is a language-learning program that allows children to play games to learn English. You can use it on smartphones and tablets. With USAHello, your children can use LingoKids for free.
This information comes from trusted sources, such as UNICEF, Save the Children, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. USAHello does not give legal advice or medical advice, nor are any of our materials intended to be taken as legal or medical advice.