Part 3 of a 3-part Series

Stress on Families in Today’s Workforce

COVID-19 has changed our world in a variety of ways. So many things we took for granted have been put on hold, or may be gone permanently. One of the things impacting families today is the ability to go to work, (when their place of work is open again) knowing their children are safe in their childcare home or program.

Childcare providers are in essence, ‘extended family’ for many of their families. And, during this pandemic, they have also become ‘essential’ to those that keep the world working. Due to COVID-19, families, children, and childcare providers are all experiencing increased levels of stress. Families are faced with issues of isolation, home schooling, loss of income, possibly loss of home and/or family members or friends. Children need families and childcare providers that can support and provide stability for them.

Parts 1 and 2 of this ‘Stress’ series provided strategies for childcare workers and children to deal with stress. This Part addresses how to support families through the stress of today and COVID-19.

  1. Communicate positive examples of their child’s activities

Family members may feel guilty or unhappy about leaving their child in childcare; providing them with positive stories of how their child is doing is very reassuring

2. Provide information or fact sheets on a variety of parenting issues

During times of stress, many behavior issues seem to come to the surface. Knowing how to deal with these various issues can be a great stress reliever.

3. Acknowledge strengths and gifts of each family member

Have children make ‘affirmation’ cards that express a positive sentiment for their family members. This can be a daily mood-brightener; make copies of ‘today’s affirmation’ on small pieces of cardstock; have children color, paint, or glue things onto the cards.

4. Special gift bags

Children love to make things to give to their families. Use their energy to create small gifts for families. Some great ideas include ‘morning muffin’ – children use markers to decorate a coffee filter, make muffins, and wrap in coffee filter, place in plastic baggie and present for tomorrow’s breakfast on the go ; ‘garden glory’ – plant garden seeds in paper cups, children color a second cup with markers, when plants are ready, place in cup that has been decorated, definitely a mood brightener!; and ‘photo fantastic’ – make mini photo frames using puzzle pieces glued to a cardboard picture frame, add a cute picture of their child.

5. Reassure your families

Provide information on how you are taking all of the recommended steps for cleaning, sanitizing, and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Resources to Share with Families

The resources and websites provided below offer many ideas, strategies, and supports for families struggling with stress.

https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3210-tips-for-families-coronavirus

     Provides a variety of tips and resources for families

https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Resource_Libraries/covid-19/resources_helping_kids_parents_cope.aspx

     This website offers many topics related to families, children, and COVID-19

      Great website with resources for families

     Download their Parent’s Guide

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Parenting-in-a-Pandemic.aspx