Thank you for all of your great responses! Here are the winners from last month’s audience question “What’s one thing you’ve done to stay connected to families of young children during school and program closures?”
“My Head Start program has provided Grab N’ Go meals for our 53 families including breakfast, lunch, and snack 3 days a week. My teaching staff has provided distance learning for all children and I have kept in contact with families by having our monthly parent meeting and Spring/Summer Nutrition Meetings. We also keep all parents updated with the agency closings and updates with COVID-19 in the area.”—Tiffani Frazier, Program Director
“I am a home visitor and although we are mandated to at least set our eyes upon the children to ensure safety, often this is by Facetime for a few minutes. I am finding my families prefer to talk when the littles are napping. I have been mailing letters to the kids with coloring pictures, activity pages, outdoor and indoor game ideas. I have been mailing separately to parents/caregivers activity sheets or online resources for them to check out. Sometimes it’s just information for them and other times it is for the kids and them to do together (online Yoga for example, coloring pages for adults too! ). I have also been doing mindfulness exercises for the parents/caregivers. I think it is super fun to get mail myself and have been sending something out every Friday.”—Denise Herman, Home Visitor/Family Support Specialist
“I remember parenting four young children 16 years ago when the world was wide open; it was challenging for me then. I can’t imagine how hard it is for parents now in a world that is closed in so many ways. In all my email communications with parents I try to express my admiration and respect for the incredible job they are doing under such stressful times. I commend them for keeping up with details like caring for their child so much that they send me an email—that takes time. I let them know that all children need lots of love, and I am so glad their child is getting love, and I know that because they are taking time to connect with me and ask questions. I tell them every single time, “you are doing a great job, you are a wonderful parent.” I offer my time and services whenever they are needed; and I am timely with my responses. With any family that seeks advice I always stress to them: Don’t try to be the perfect parent, we all make mistakes. It is okay to tell your child “I am sorry, I messed up. Let’s try that again.” During stressful times parents need love, care and virtual hugs just like children.”—Kimberly Quinn, 3–5 Screening Coordinator
Stay tuned for more audience questions in our Early Childhood Newsletters!