COVID-19 Resources for Head Start

The health and safety of our members, their staff and their families are our primary concerns. We encourage you and your staff to comply with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention CDC recommendations and take all precautionary measures, here. Below are some additional resources which will be updated as they become available.  For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling (866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours per day. Inquiries may also be emailed to [email protected]

Office of Head Start Resources:

Update to Wages and Benefits Flexibility During the COVID-19 Pandemicadded April 6, 2020

Responding to Head Start Grantee Questions on COVID-19: Updated March 31, 2020

ACF Guidance Letter

Coronavirus Prevention and Response

Wage & benefit flexibility: In response to COVID-19, OHS is advising grantees to coordinate with local health authorities and implement their existing policies and procedures related to the closure of Head Start centers during infectious disease outbreaks. Closure of centers in areas heavily impacted by COVID-19 is an important element of containing and limiting its spread.

Food flexibility: Head Start and Early Head Start programs may provide meals and snacks to children during center closures. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has waived its group setting meal requirement for closed schools and authorized special flexibilities for many states.
General Disaster Recovery Flexibilities ACF-IM-HS-19-01

Supporting Grantee Leadership Regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webinar

National Head Start Association Resources

NHSA’s Kitchen Table Talks: Join the Head Start community at 12 pm PT this Wednesday, and every Wednesday until the threat of COVID-19 has subsided. This is your forum to offer your input and receive updates on what we know about the ever-changing situation, and share what may be useful for you and your Head Start family. Register now

Other Resources and Information:

Daily Situation Reports from the World Health Organization (WHO)
How Coronavirus Spreads – US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
FNS Program Guidance on Human Pandemic Response- U.S. Department of Agriculture
Prevention and Treatment – CDC
Guarding Against Stigma Related to Coronavirus – CDC
Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations - CDC
Florida Department of Children and Families
Florida Department of Education, OEL
Child Care Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), DCF
Florida Department of Health
The White House
Office of Child Care
Institute for Childhood Preparedness

Managing Coronavirus Risks: What Should the Head Start Network Think About? - Community Action Program Legal Services
Should I Close My Child Care Program? A Coronavirus Flowchart- Child Care Aware® of America
Map: Coronavirus and School Closures - Education Week
COVID-19 Response for Students Who are Homeless or With Experience in Foster Care - Hope Center
COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Grandfamilies and Multigenerational Families - Generations United
Forgivable Loans for Child Care Providers through the CARES Act: CLASP, added April 6, 2020 
COVID-19 RELIEF: Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans Available to Child Care Providers, First Five Years Fund and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, added April 6, 2020

Food Services & Distribution: 

CACFP During COVID-19: New USDA Flexibilities Offer Program Options: FRAC Food Research & Action Center (Webinar added April 6, 2020)


FREE Webinar: Thursday, April 16, 2020, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT: I Said Goodbye and You Said Hello: Strategies for Teachers to Support Parent/Child Interactions at Home during COVID-19  In partnership with FHSA Corporate Partners 

Register Today!

Recorded/On-Demand Training- Responding to the Challenges of COVID-19

Early Childhood Leaders Managing the Stress of Working in Response to COVID-19, in partnership with Region 9 Head Start Association

This webinar, recorded March 19, 2020, provided leaders with useful information to help them manage their own stress response to the uncertain climate created by COVID-19 and identify concrete practical strategies they can use right away to buffer stress and build resilience. Learn more

  • Julie Kurtz, M.S. Center for Optimal Brain Integration
  • Julie Nicholson, Ph.D. Professor of Practice in the School of Education at Mills College
  • La Wanda Wesley, EdD. Co-Director of the Center for Equity in Early Childhood Education and Director of Quality Enhancement and Professional Development of Early Education for Oakland Unified School District

Emergency Response Strategies to Support Young Children and Families during COVID-19, in partnership with Region 9 Head Start Association

This webinar, recorded on March 19, 2020, provided early childhood educators with concrete practical strategies they can use right away to support young children and families impacted by the stress and effects of social distancing resulting from COVID-19.

  • Julie Kurtz, M.S. Center for Optimal Brain Integration
  • Julie Nicholson, Ph.D. Professor of Practice in the School of Education at Mills College
  • La Wanda Wesley, EdD. Co-Director of the Center for Equity in Early Childhood Education and Director of Quality Enhancement and Professional Development of Early Education for Oakland Unified School District

Earn Continuing Education Units - On - click here and enter promo code: FREESUPPORT

For centers that are closed, this is also a perfect opportunity to take an individual training course or work on CDA requirements with Kaplan amazingly low priced online training platform Quorum. Kaplan is running a special for FL Headstart and Early Head Start programs. $89.95 for a 12-month membership, or $30 per course. Available Online in Quorum. Click here to view details. 

Free Resources from FHSA members to help provide support to Teachers and Families: 

Our friends at Lakeshore have over 1,000 FREE resources designed to support essential skills in math, language, science and social studies for pre-k through elementary grades. These resources are for parents as well as teachers needing to help their children learn at home. 

Our friends at Kaplan are offering hundreds of different FREE resources including how-to videos and directions to create fun and learning while in a center or at home! 

Our friends at Teachstone have developed a place of helpful Coronavirus resources such as blog posts, their CLASS® at Home guide, and other downloadable resources. They are committed to keeping this page updated with all of their latest resources so be sure to bookmark it.

Our friends at Nemours has also shared some additional resources for your use. Use this link to read their Q & A about the virus. The links below are materials teachers can use in their classrooms to promote excellent hygiene. These materials are part of Nemours Kids Health in the Classroom series, which can be handy in the class as well as sharing with parents and children of all ages. 

English & Spanish version of Stop the Spread of COVID-19, updated April 8, 2020

Our friends at Ready4K is offering its virtual parenting curriculum and family engagement tool, free for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. Ready4K is an evidence-based whole-child curriculum that provides fun facts and at-home learning activity ideas for children ages 0-9, all delivered via text message. Implementation is quick and easy, so all of your families can start getting activities within a week.

Effective immediately we are implementing several changes to Ready4K to better serve families and partners during this difficult time.

  • Additional support messages focused on COVID-19 topics, like hygiene, dealing with pandemic anxiety, and social connection in a virtual world
  • Providing a communications system for sharing vital information with your families, including a dedicated messaging number and unlimited messaging through the end of the school year
  • Enhanced support for families with more than one child with activities for each child based on age or grade level
  • Child Nutrition Pandemic Planning Guidelines

Visit for details.

Free Resources for Families and Teachers:

Scholastic also has some engaging online resources and activities to assist you during this time of learning from home. Visit their website here 

LENA's 14 Talking Tips for parents and teachers

Talking Tip Video: Shared reading with infants — talking tip for early childhood teachers!

Recorded Webinar with Trust for Learning and Highscope: Creating Inclusive and Equitable Classroom Experiences

Recorded Webinar with Teachstone: Building Classroom Quality Through Language

Sesame Street in Communities activities and free professional development 

Recorded Webinar: How Colorado is providing PD for Family Child Care (FCC) providers

April 14th Webinar: How Mississippi Head Start Association is focusing on early talk in PD

Engaging resilience blog: How responsive caregiving lays the foundation for children to thrive

Free Online Events and Activities for Kids at Home

25 Amazing Virtual Field Trips for Kids—Spring 2020