While restrictions regarding COVID-19 have relaxed in recent months, the virus remains prevalent across the country with reports that numbers are on the rise again. In Onslow County alone, several child care programs had classroom and program closures in recent weeks due to COVID-19 cases. For parents and caregivers with children attending child care or preschool in a center that has had a quarantine closure, we have put together some ideas to help continue their learning at home during the quarantine period.
Reinforcing and extending the learning that occurs in the child care setting during quarantine can make the transition back into child care/the classroom that much easier once quarantining is over.
“It helps support that sense of normalcy of what they would be getting if they were in the classroom,” said Courtney Wandishin, NC Pre-K Training and Technical Assistance Specialist at One Place.
Parents and caregivers can also utilize their child’s teacher as a resource for at-home learning during quarantine. Much like older children who attend elementary school, a “packet” of work may be provided upon request, depending on the teacher and the child care program or center, said Autumn Bishop, Director of School Readiness at One Place.
“It creates a sense of consistency and normalcy during an otherwise stressful situation,” she said. “They can transition back into school easier following the quarantine.”
NC Office of Early Learning: https://sites.google.com/dpi.nc.gov/nck-3fap/home
NC Pre-k Remote Learning Options: https://ncchildcare.ncdhhs.gov/Home/DCDEE-Sections/North-Carolina-Pre-Kindergarten-NC-Pre-K
In addition, you can access the One Place COVID-19 resources page on our website at the link below where you will find additional resources for at-home learning as well as health and safety and mental health resources: https://www.oneplaceonslow.org/for-parents-and-early-educators/family-resources/#covid
It is also important for parents and caregivers to practice self-care during a quarantine period to help manage stress.
The Hope4NC Helpline is available 24 hours a day and connects people to mental health and resilience supports that help with coping skills and building resilience in times of crisis. Call 1-855-587-3463 or visit https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/mental-health-developmental-disabilities-and-substance-abuse/hope4nc
“You can’t pour from an empty cup. You need to be well personally to be able to support the children in your life in being well,” said Courtney Wandishin, NC Pre-K Training and Technical Assistance Specialist at One Place.
Early educators in need of support can use the Hope4Healers Helpline, which provides mental health and resilience supports for health care professionals, first responders, teachers, school personnel, and others. Call 919-226-2002 or visit https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/mental-health-developmental-disabilities-and-substance-abuse/hope4nc/hope4healers-helpline
Families should follow quarantine guidelines provided by their local health department and guidance received from their child care provider.