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]

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Office of Head Start Resources:

 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

COVID-19 Destination Reopening Playbook, updated July 2020

NHSA’s Kitchen Table Talks: Join the Head Start community at 3 pm ET 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:

White House/CDC/FEMA Guidance on Coronavirus, check for latest updates
Daily Situation Reports from the World Health Organization (WHO), situation reports
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
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
Guidance for Childcare Programs that Remain Open, added April 13, 2020
A guide to internet service during the pandemic, added April 21, 2020
Florida Office of Early Learning Administrative Memo April 2020, added April 27, 2020 
Florida League of Cities Coronavirus Resources, added May 7, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) guide for parents, UNICEF, added May 20, 2020 
Resources available focusing on your health, Simply Healthcare, added May 21, 2020 
Telehealth and Online Mental Health Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic, Sunshine Behavioral Health, added June 24, 2020
FDA Warnings about the Dangers of Hand Sanitizers With Methanol, added July 23, 2020
Lifeline During Coronavirus Pandemic added July 24, 2020
Child Care Provider Guidance, Florida Department of Health, added  August 11, 2020


Food Services & Distribution: 

USDA Announces Online Tool to Help Families Find Meals for Kids During COVID-19 Emergency, the "Meals for Kids" site finder. (added April 17, 2020)

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


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 TeachingStrategies®  has partnered with the founders of Baby Einstein and created a new app for parents and families of young children from birth through age 5. ParentPal™ is an all-in-one personal parenting coach, providing tools to take the guesswork out of parenting. To support parents and families at home during these challenging times, we are offering access to ParentPal™ at no cost through June 30, 2020, excited to extend this free access period until later this summer.  ParentPal™ provides families a daily roadmap to follow each day that promotes active, joyful engagement and developmentally appropriate progress through key developmental milestones from birth through age 3, with additional activities and support, such as Mighty Minutes® activities, through age 5. Click here to learn more. 

Our friends at Frogstreet are offering a Summer Program and Online Parent Resources. Frog Street Summer Program is a 4-week complete review of key literacy and math skills for young learners to prepare children for Kindergarten Readiness.  The instruction is fully English and Spanish. They are also providing Online Parent Resources which are complementary activities to help young learners ages 3-5 years old to use at home during school closures due to COVID-19.

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.  In addition to these great resources, Ready 4K has partnered with School Closures to provide parents, teachers, community leaders with a wide variety of free resources and information to see you through this crisis.  Visit for more information. Added April 9, 2020

Free Resources for Families and Teachers: