Support During COVID-19

Financial resources and programs for providers

Small business assistance

The state’s COVID-19 business resources page is updated regularly to reflect federal and state resources to support small business.

Small businesses can also get help from the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC). To get free counseling, contact WBDC.

Support children’s social and emotional needs

The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) has developed a series of resources to help providers support families during COVID-19.

Get an introduction to NCPMI’s resources

While NCPMI created the video for programs implementing the Pyramid model, it has useful information for any program starting back up.

Back to School During COVID-19

Help children get comfortable wearing masks

OEC continues to recommend that children in child care wear masks. But getting young children to put on mask — and keep them on — can be a challenge. Some kids may be anxious about the idea. NCPMI has guidance on how to make wearing a mask seem less intimidating. Read Wearing Masks from NCPMI in English or Spanish.

The CT Pyramid Partnership and OEC also have a video for providers about encouraging children to wear masks.

CT Pyramid Partnership Resource Video: Masks

Get guidance on connecting with families

NCPMI has guidance and resources to help you partner with families.

Connecting with Families during COVID

NCPMI has also compiled resources for families and professionals during COVID-19 — including general strategies for decreasing stress and preventing challenging behavior. Get guidance from NCPMI.

Get help from the Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP)

ECCP can help with free consultations for child care providers (and families). Get guidance on topics like:

  • Helping children with emotional, social, or behavioral issues
  • Dealing with problems in the classroom
  • Resources to help support your program

Remember that this is a resource you can also share with parents who could benefit from a consult. To find a consultant in your town, take a look at the Early Childhood Consultation Partnership section on the ECCP website.

Prepare children and families for the transition to kindergarten

Transitioning to kindergarten is often an exciting time for children and their families. But even under usual circumstances, change can be hard — and that’s especially true during COVID-19.

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and OEC provided guidance regarding kindergarten transition in the publication Transitioning to Kindergarten: The Why, What and How of this Important Milestone for Connecticut Students. In addition, CSDE recently updated the document What Parents Should Know About Kindergarten Entry, Enrollment, and Attendance.

In spring of 2021, OEC and CSDE issued a joint letter to help early educators and schools work together to support children and families at they transition to kindergarten in fall 2021. A video, featuring early childhood and education leaders from across the state, was created to provide additional tips and guidance.

Connect with families remotely

Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, early childhood programs have used technology to connect with families. Here are resources that may be helpful as you connect with families during disruptions or to enhance your ongoing partnerships with families.

Refer families to key resources

Encourage families to use 2-1-1. It’s the go-to resource for families in Connecticut — especially during COVID-19. Families can get access to counselors, financial help, crisis support, and more. Tell them to dial 2-1-1 or visit the 2-1-1 website.

Take care of yourself

When times are stressful, it’s important for those who work with children and families to take steps to stay mentally and physically healthy.

The Center for Early Childhood Education at Eastern Connecticut State University has developed a campaign to help. Explore their resources and watch the video below.

Get tips from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network on how to take care of yourself — and share them with your colleagues.

Last updated July 8, 2022