Supporting Students and Families COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Early Childhood Resource Series

This resource series is intended to provide guidance in addressing the needs of our youngest learners who may be exhibiting behaviors that are challenging in response to change and stress during a pandemic. Each module includes topical content (Watch It/Read It), a summary of the main ideas (Know It), a self-assessment (Recall It), opportunities to reflect (Think About It), and implementation strategies (Try It).

The resource series is appropriate for all early childhood providers (child care, preschool, early childhood family education, school readiness, early Head Start, Head Start, early childhood special education, paraprofessionals) and can be completed individually, with a team, or as part of a professional development series.

Topic I. Preparing for Children’s Return

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Reopening Child Care and Early Education Programs during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This is a quick summary of how children may behave when they return to your care. It also explains why young children may show behaviors that are challenging and how you can help them. The document provides tips on how you can help yourself when the stress of managing challenging behaviors impacts you.

Tips for Supporting Infants and Young Children’s Transition as We Reopen

This resource includes information about the transition for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers who are moving back into your care, and the stress this may cause them. The article breaks down the different areas to consider, and gives you specific ways you can support and respond to behaviors and feelings brought about by stress.

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Thriving Childcare: Social-Emotional Health and COVID-19 Guidelines

This webinar brings together four child care and child development experts as they discuss how to meet both safety and developmental needs with COVID-19 now in the child care picture. There is a tension between helping children stay protected from the virus, and helping them feel protected socially and emotionally. Watch and listen to these professionals talk about how you can manage both as child care reopens.

Topic II. Understanding Young Children’s Challenging Behavior

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Reflecting on Our Reactions and Responses to Children’s Behavior

This resource is a video that encourages us to explore our responses to children’s behavior and the actions we take. By understanding our responses and what motivates them, we can better manage them—and ourselves.

Behavior Has Meaning

This video is part of a Head Start 15-minute In-Service Suite. It introduces us to the concept that children use their behavior as communication. Their behavior can let us know how they feel and what they need or want. The companion presentation (you may view it as a PowerPoint or as a PDF file) looks more deeply at the idea that behavior is a form of communication. The responses we give to children are a big part of what creates a solid foundation for their healthy development!

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Understanding the Science of Early Development and the Core Story

These four, short videos from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University cover the science of brain development after birth and three important concepts around its architecture. Video #1 discusses the science of early childhood development. Videos #2, #3, and #4 tell the “core story,” or the three fundamental and most important concepts related to early brain development; that development is impacted by a child’s experiences in the first three years, healthy interactions build the brain, and high levels of stress sends brain development off the tracks.

Topic III. Supporting and Managing Young Children’s Behavior

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It Takes Two: The Role of Co-regulation in Building Self-Regulation Skills

This resource shares how children use the important adults in their lives to establish the foundation of in order to begin building the critical skill of “self-regulation.” Children need warm, secure interactions with their caregiving adults to model and exchange supportive, regulating interactions.

Toxic Stress – Introduction: A Story for Early Educators

This video gives a quick overview of how behavior has been managed over the last 75 years, and how we can make room for what recent brain research tells us about the impact of trauma on behavior. Many of us were taught to think of managing behavior in children through using rewards and punishment, or, through encouraging or discouraging behavior. New research from the last 10 years has shown that traumatic stress impacts behavior, so a new approach to working with behavior is needed.

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Infant and Toddler Care: Guiding Behavior

Through reading, watching videos and responding to questions, learn more about how to guide behavior during a child’s first three years. Early stages of exploration and interactions among infants and toddlers include common behaviors such as when a child grabs toys, pulls hair, hits, pushes, pokes, and bites. This module shares why young children resort to these behaviors, and how professionals can use positive guidance to help children learn to explore their environment and solve problems without hurting others!

Stress Detectives and Safe Harbors: Helping Children Feel Secure

This resource, a narrated webinar with PowerPoint slides, introduces us to four concepts you can apply to both prevent and manage challenging behaviors in children. It offers an evidence-based approach you can use with all children. Whether working with children that are developing typically, or those that have been identified with developmental delays or disabilities, the information in this resource will equip you with invaluable knowledge and practices.

Bonus Resources

The Importance of Stories and Narratives for Young Children

These two, brief articles explain the role stories can play in helping young children understand the changes they may be experiencing and feeling due to COVID-19.

Virtual Early Education Center

The Virtual Early Education Center (VEEC) is an online tool for early care and education (ECE) programs, including Head Start, Early Head Start and child care.