Maintaining connection is our greatest
source of strength in these times.
As the implications of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to evolve in unforeseeable ways, the Help Me Grow National Center is reinforcing our dedication to the National Affiliate Network. We are seeking to identify new ways of providing families what they need amid an evolving and amplified set of challenges. To do so, the below COVID-19 resource hub is comprised of emerging and promising practices by affiliates across the country, resources by the Help Me Grow National Center, as well as best practices and guidance from national partners.
Our collective work to build a more comprehensive, integrated early childhood system is more essential now than ever.
We have witnessed the importance of ensuring all families have equitable access to the supports and services that foster their children’s healthy development. Yet, as our country faces this pandemic, we have also witnessed the reality that many families are being left without a safety net. We feel profoundly grateful to be your partner as you persist in helping families connect to critical resources, support their children’s development, especially now. Together, we will do what it takes to care for each other, for our communities, and for young children and their families.
Help Me Grow National Center Resources
Events precipitated by COVID-19 have presented some of the most uncertain times our nation has ever faced, and the long-term implications of the pandemic will continue to evolve in unforeseeable ways.
Despite this, Help Me Grow affiliates have stood alongside families with young children in the face of this challenge, and are nimbly and skillfully adjusting their Help Me Grow efforts to reinforce their unwavering commitment to families, even in the face of great disruption and insecurity.
A new brief by the Help Me Grow National Center describes seven key elements of the Help Me Grow Model that affiliates have leveraged as mechanisms to support families impacted by COVID-19. Using Help Me Grow to Support Families Through COVID-19 highlights the innovative ways in which affiliates across the National Affiliate Network are utilizing their established Help Me Grow infrastructure to mobilize an efficient, powerful response to crisis on behalf of families across the country.
Affiliate Promising Practices
National cENTER gUiDANCE
The HMG National Center has been encouraged to see how quickly many states and localities have established additional, temporary call centers to field and triage clinical inquiries related to COVID-19. While most of these interactions are to discuss virus exposure and where to seek testing or treatment, it is also possible that many individuals and families engaging with these access points could benefit from further care coordination and support in accessing community-based services. If you have not already done so, you may wish to reach out to the organizations currently staffing these call centers, to ensure that families can be connected to HMG, where appropriate, and to help ensure that we are collectively and effectively meeting a spectrum of needs during a challenging time.
HMG affiliates from across the National Affiliate Network participated in a recent survey to collect information on the ways in which their work has been impacted by COVID-19 as well as the strategies they are leveraging to mitigate those impacts on families. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SURVEY RESULTS
Help Me Grow Alaska is open and ready to support families and the providers working with them through this stressful and unprecedented time. They have compiled a list of resources for families, but offer in their recent statement that Care Coordinators can help navigate this situation during this time.
The Partnerships for Alabama’s Children, the backbone agency for HMG Alabama, has compiled a list of resources for parents to support their child’s development while at home.
ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA
The team at Help Me Grow Alameda County, CA are gathering resources (such as the Infant Mental Health Tele-health Best Practices) that can inform the Centralized Access Point’s approach with families during this time. HMG Alameda County is also begin to think through how the Developmental Screening Program using ASQ Online can support continued screening for families who are not currently receiving screening in other programs (such as Early Head Start).
Help Me Grow Georgia’s Centralized Access Point providers have received COVID-19 related trainings in addition to training disaster preparedness trainings that have typically been provided to the state Department of Health staff only.
In Indiana, Help Me Grow is working with their ‘Learn the Signs. Act Early.’ partner to provide virtual training opportunities and supports around infant/toddler mental health. In addition, they are also currently offering reflective supervision and supports to Part C and home visiting staff.
LONG ISLAND, ny
Help Me Grow Long Island is taking steps to ensure accurate information about agencies across Long Island. Family Resource Specialists are contacting agencies across Long Island to find out the latest information about closing or other service changes, and their ability to take new cases. All information regarding these updates will be updated on a daily basis on this website. In addition, their call line remains open and continues to serve families during this time.
Help Me Grow Michigan is helping the state’s essential workforce find access to child care during this time. View their form here.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, NY
In Onondaga County, NY, Help Me Grow developed a rapid response system with their County counterparts to be able to address immediate basic needs for families that are not able to leave their homes or get to resources. HMG texts the name and address of individuals to the County Department of Children and Family Services and they will deliver requested resources to the family’s home.
SAN MATEO, CA
Help Me Grow San Mateo staff are proactively reaching out to families, responsive to families current and immediate needs related to COVID-19 as well as participating in various professional development webinars and tele-conference trainings related to: homeschooling, wellbeing, self-care, and family engagement while in practicing shelter in place.
SUTTER COUNTY, CA
The HMG Centralized Access Point has been promoted as the COVID-19 Call Center for Sutter County children 0-5 and their families to assist with resources and concerns at this unique time. The Call Center was established March 16, 2020. Staff have managed the Call Center Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm, and staff have been conducting follow-up via telephone for families that require additional referrals.
TARRANT COUNTY, TX
In Tarrant County, TX, family navigators who are answering calls that come to the Centralized Access Point can transfer calls to internal Mental Health Consultants or Nurses to help families experiencing high stress and/or anxiety during their call.
Help Me Grow Vermont has been helping to support state and local community efforts by being a contact to assist essential workers apply for emergency child care at a time when all the state’s schools and child care centers have been ordered closed. In addition, HMG VT is assisting the statewide early childhood system and partners at Building Bright Futures to identify gaps in resources families are facing, such as a shortage of diapers and formula, and helping to strategize how these important needs could be met. View Building Bright Futures’ resource list here.
The Help Me Grow Washington call line, housed at WithinReach, remains open and committed to connecting families to health insurance, food assistance, and other essential services for families with young children. Their online form also is a source of referral. Click here to read their statement.
YOLO COUNTY, CA
Staff have prioritized increasing an online presence with webinar workshops, additional activities and resources shared on social media, and providing additional developmental screening opportunities via Centralized Access Point. Help Me Grow Yolo County developed new social media “blasts” to promote the use of the Centralized Access Point and are also working on a set of instructional videos on how to use the HMG Yolo County system to complete a developmental screening on a mobile device in English and Spanish. HMG Yolo County is also proactively reaching out to families that they have worked with in the last 2 years that have children within the target population age range to see if they would like additional activities for their child to do at home, a re-screen, and/or additional information.
The Help Me Grow National Center partnered with Spring Impact and Childhood Prosperity Lab to elevate and diffuse emerging best practices developed by affiliates in response to COVID-19. In response to COVID-19, Spring Impact supported the Help Me Grow National Center to enhance its capacity to rapidly identify, operationalize, and diffuse promising crisis-response practices from across the National Affiliate Network.
Childhood Prosperity Lab advances innovative strategies that help all children flourish, thrive, and succeed. More information about the National Center’s ongoing partnership with Childhood Prosperity Lab is available here. Spring Impact strives to create, scale, and sustain maximum impact of social innovations.
This partnership identified three key best practices that Help Me Grow systems may consider in using elements of the Model supporting place-based communities in times of crisis:
Help Me Grow and COVID-19: Highlighting System Enhancements
The Help Me Grow National Center and Spring Impact highlight three strategies developed by affiliates to enhance their crisis response efforts to COVID-19.
Enhanced Help Me Grow Centralized Access Point Group Discussion
Help Me Grow North Texas describes why and how the CAP was enhanced to meet the evolving and emerging needs of children and families.
Crisis Communication Strategy Group Discussion
Help Me Grow Long Island describes how they leveraged a crisis communication strategy to manage the significant influx of calls they received.
Proactive Outreach Group Discussion
Help Me Grow Pierce County describes how deploying a proactive outreach enabled them to identify and fill critical gaps in services.
To learn more about the Help Me Grow National, Child Prosperity Lab, and Spring Impact partnership, visit the blog post, Joining Forces to Strengthen Pandemic Preparedness and Response: Responding to the Emerging and Evolving Needs of Children and Families.
National Resources and Best Practices
2-1-1/Alliance of information and referral systems (airs)
In response to the number of 2-1-1 call centers serving as dedicated sources of information about COVID-19, 2-1-1 and AIRS have developed a national resource matrix with ongoing information about the virus, travel, food, unemployment, mental health services, and more. The United Way Worldwide team is monitoring information and updates from the CDC, federal officials, and reputable news sources to keep the matrix as up-to-date as possible.
ADvancing States has launched a new section of its website in order to provide updated information on COVID-19, highlighting the latest guidance from federal partners, including advocacy efforts, CMS Waiver Approvals, a live version of the CDC’s Microsite with background information for healthcare professionals and health departments, and state materials.
ALLIANCE FOR EARLY SUCCESS
The Alliance for Early Success is compiling resources and strategies by state. This list is being updated frequently. View this list here.
BRIGHT BY TEXT
Bright by Text (BBT) is a text message-based platform that provides free tips, information, and resources to help all parents and caregivers give every child a bright beginning. BBT also allows organizations to share useful local information and resources with parents. For the remainder of 2020, BBT is waiving all fees for new community partners so they can easily communicate and respond to the needs of families as part of their COVID-19 response. Learn more about BBT and how it can be a resource to respond to COVID here.
The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
The Center acknowledges the role of stress, hope, and resiliency during this time, and has put together a wide range of partner resources ranging from activities for parents to issue-based responses to medical information about the coronavirus, including A Guide to COVID-19 and Early Childhood Development. This guide pulls together information on COVID-19, including what it means for child development, and shareable resources that can help parents, caregivers, child care providers, pediatricians, and others who work with families. Access their collection of other resources here.
CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF SOCIAL POLICY
CSSP is maintaining a clearinghouse of resources resources designed to give a voice to children, youth, and families at most risk during this crisis.
CHAPIN HALL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Health care providers are increasingly serving families whose economic and social needs are escalating due to COVID-19. Chapin Hall is released two Practice Bulletins with evidence-based tips on how health care providers can sensitively and effectively engage families about their social needs and referrals to ensure that they get the services they need.
CHILD MIND INSTITUTE
The Child Mind Institute has created clinical and supportive resources to support parents who may be experiencing additional stress during this time. Their resources also provide information for parents related to mindfulness, helping kids with transitions, and more.
The following guidance, recommendations, and resources are provided by child trauma experts at Child Trends and the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts. In addition to keeping children physically safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Child Trends notes that is also important to care for their emotional health. View this comprehensive resource here.
Collective Impact Forum
The Collective Impact Forum is hosting virtual office hours every Thursday at 2 pm ET through April 23rd to support organizations experiencing massive disruption such as changing an agenda, intended results, and measures; adapting strategies and work plans; assisting partners who are meeting urgent needs or are facing organizational crises; and more. Registering for the office hour will also notify you when the recording is uploaded. To access recordings of past office hours and to register for future ones, click here.
COUNTY HEALTH RANKINGS & ROADMAPS
What does a just and equitable path forward from COVID-19 look like?To help answer this question, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps has added a new COVID-19 page to its website, including:
- A county-level data mapping project in collaboration with the University of Chicago
- A special webinar series
- Featured COVID-19-curated What Works for Health strategies
- Resources from trusted partners
- Community stories
DEFENDING THE EARLY YEARS
DEY has created Guidance for Supporting Young Children Through COVID-19. This Guide contains resources and recommendations for parents and educators, including supporting play, communicating with loved ones, establishing routines, thoughts on screen-time, and how to talk to young children. The Guide is part of a package of resources created by DEY to support early childhood educators, parents of young children, and our communities during these challenging times.
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT ACTION NETWORK
The ECD Action Network is working with partners and regional networks to collect and disseminate global COVID-19 related ECD resources, organize webinars, and coordinate the global ECD community’s response to the COVID-19 emergency. The first webinar in a series will bring together key global agencies including WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, and other partners to provide a briefing on resources and actions being mobilized by each agency in response to COVID-19, identify key supports being given to government systems to mobilize services for caregivers and their children, including workplace policy responses, child care, parental mental health supports and other key services. Register here.
EARLY CHILDHOOD TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER
This page is updated on a daily basis with the latest information on funding and guidance for all birth-5 early childhood special education programs regarding this national emergency, as well as information on talking to children and families.
EmbraceRace recently hosted a webinar about supporting children in the struggle against COVID-19. This webinar featured a developmental behavioral pediatrician, based in Houston, and a child psychologist, based in the Bay Area, about how parents, guardians, and other caregivers can best protect children in these difficult times.
EVERY MOTher COUNTS
Every Mother Counts has developed a consolidated list of resources related to the coronavirus and maternal health. This information ranges from general information on coronavirus, pregnancy, and childbirth to resources for maternity care providers.
FISCAL MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES & THE JPB FOUNDATION
FMA is maintaining a Payment Protection Program Toolbox, including tools, guidance and resource such as an online clinic about the Program. JPB has partnered with FMA to ensure that nonprofits have tools to apply for these loans. Visit the Zoom link for a replay, including a Q+A portion.
FOOD RESEARCH AND ACTION CENTER
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is an essential program to ensure food benefits, nutrition, breastfeeding support, and referrals to services for families with young children during this time. The number of people who are eligible for WIC is increasing due to the loss of family income. This resource from FRAC describes actions that WIC, advocates, partner organizations, and State and local policymakers can take to help preserve access to WIC during this pandemic.
FrameWorks has coalesced relevant pieces of their guidance from twenty years of framing research and practice to help advocates and experts be heard and understood in a time of global crisis. Guidance includes topics such as: Acting now on behalf of tomorrow; Talking about what young people need during the pandemic; Framing the post-pandemic economy, and more.
Focused on child health services transformation, InCK Marks recently released a guide to child health services transformation in the context of COVID-19. For more information about the InCK Marks Resource Network, view our partnership page here.
INSTITUTE FOR HEALTHCARE IMPROVEMENT
IHI has provided health care professionals, students, faculty, and residents with free access to select IHI Open School courses through May 31, 2020.
NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES, ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE
This page includes resources related to COVID-19 as well as consensus studies and workshop proceedings on the subject of pandemic infectious disease.
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF STATE HEALTH POLICY
NASHP, a forum of policymakers throughout state governments, learning, leading and implementing innovative solutions to health policy challenges, has developed a COVID-19 State Action Center to showcase how states are implementing various response and intervention approaches.
National institute for children’s health quality
NICHQ has created a resource related to information about COVID-19 for children’s health advocates and provides a summary of key information related to children’s health during this time and links to information references. Identifying how COVID-19 will affect children’s health is the first step to uncovering solutions. NICHQ has published this article, sharing some of the key challenges experienced by partners such as public health professionals, community health workers, health care providers, and families, and provides relevant resources to address those challenges.
National LEAGUE OF CITIES
Local elected officials are distinctly positioned to protect the health and safety of America’s residents and to provide reassurance in times of crisis. The National League of Cities developed this resources website and a Pandemic Response email series to support cities, towns and villages during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Noggin asked the Surgeon General of California and other leading experts how to handle the stress of the pandemic on little kids. With help from Jamie-Lynn Sigler, a mom and superstar host, and parents just like you, this 20-minute special will help you answer questions you have about your kids’ health and learning during this challenging time.
NONPROFIT FINANCE FUND
NFF is maintaining a COVID-19 Tools and Resources for Nonprofits page, including tips, blogs, and tools.
OUNCE OF PREVENTION FUND
For early childhood professionals, including Help Me Grow affiliates, the Ounce of Prevention is providing a special, limited time offer of 50% off any Achieve OnDemand learning experience. The Ounce’s Achieve OnDemand is a high quality, online, low-cost training program designed specifically for home-based staff and supervisors. To redeem this limited time offer, enroll on the Achieve OnDemand online learning portal, and use the coupon code HALF2020 during checkout. Offer expires on June 30th, 2020.
Promise Venture has created a destination for parents, caregivers, educators, and program leaders to find helpful resources for young children during this time.
RACIAL EQUITY TOOLS
Racial Equity Tools focuses its resource page on analysis of disparities, community care, organizing and solidarity, resource building and rapid response, and other resources that relate to equity, social justice, and other areas in the context of the pandemic.
RESEARCH TO POLICY COLLABORATION
Check out the great work the Research to Policy Collaboration is doing to communicate social science information related to COVID-19 to legislators. The more informed our congressional leaders can be about the impact of the Pandemic is on families, the better decisions they will hopefully make. COVID-19 Impact on Families
Root Cause is sharing their experience and perspectives as a thought partner, strategist, and problem-solver with leaders of organizations working to deliver essential services during this time of crisis by providing a series of free webinars and virtual office hours for nonprofit direct service providers to help them navigate uncertainty and change.Visit their COVID-19 resource page for more details.
SMALL MOMENTS BIG IMPACT
Small Moments, Big Impact is a smartphone application (app) designed to support the emotional well-being of new mothers, prenatal through six months postpartum, and the mother’s relationship with the baby. The app consists of short videos of mothers sharing their experiences, prompts for mothers to respond to, and activities mothers can do with their child to enhance the parent-child relationship. By watching the videos and responding to the prompts, mothers learn about the relationship they are building with their child and how to manage feelings of love, stress, fatigue, frustration, and hope. The app also serves as a diary of sorts, allowing mothers to upload videos and photographs of their child. Learn more about Small Moments Big Impact and how it can be a resource to respond to COVID here.
ZERO TO THREE
ZTT has put together a resource comprised of tips for families including age-appropriate responses to common questions, a guide to self-care, and activities for young children experiencing social distancing. View this resource here.
Centers for disease control and prevention
The CDC is the most trusted source of information related to the virus, cases in the U.S., and actions to take to keep yourself, children, and families safe and healthy. View this information here.
ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
With the COVID-19 situation ever-evolving, ACF will provide COVID-19 related resources for its range of programs that help our nation’s children, families, and communities. The resources from ACF contain information about child care, child welfare, community services, early childhood development, and more.
NATIONAL CONSORTIUM OF TELEHEALTH RESOURCE CENTERS
As many service providers are seeking to transition to telehealth, TRC has put together a toolkit about providing virtual services during this time.
This resource hub will be updated frequently. For questions, additional information, or to submit resources, please contact Sarah Zucker.