Resources for parents and carers
We’ve compiled a range of resources to support parents and carers in dealing with Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Coronavirus disease is having a profound impact on our daily lives: children and young people know that something is happening. Young people tend to worry more when they aren’t given any information, so it’s important to have a direct discussion about the outbreak to reassure them, help them understand what is happening and what they can do to help.
- Set the emotional tone: if you sound panicked while talking about it, they may panic too.
- Take cues from your child. You can start the conversation by asking what they know about the situation. Give them the opportunity to ask any questions they have.
- Use age-appropriate facts from reliable sources such as government departments.
- Don’t give them too much information all at once, it can be overwhelming. Provide them with the basic facts and answer any follow-up questions they have honestly. If you don’t know the answer, look it up. Show your children that it is a good idea to check what they are hearing through their friends and media.
- Be reassuring but truthful. Tell them about the measures being put in place to slow the spread, and let them know that young people and children usually experience milder symptoms.
- Help them feel empowered by teaching them good hygiene and social distancing techniques.
- Be aware of how you talk about the outbreak when young people are present. Remain positive and prevention-focused within earshot.
- ABC Kids has a range of games, activities, podcasts, videos and education programs.
- ABC Education hosts thousands of free, curriculum-linked resources for Primary and Secondary students and teachers
- Crackerjack Education offers Indigenous teaching resources
- Deadly Story is a cultural information website to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in the Victorian out-of-home care system to connect with their Country, their Communities, and their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and identity. They have a range of online resources.
- Together Victoria - online resources for children and families
- Sesame Street has a collection of educational games, videos and art for children
- E-learning for Kids is an international organisation that offers lessons in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese
- Khan Academy has a range of lesson plans and resources
- Scholastic Learn at Home has lesson plans and resources for years K - 6
- TED Ed has hundred of educational talks
- Dr Karl offers science videos, articles and podcasts for adults and young people (AUS)
- Fizzics Education offers dozens of free resources, including videos of science experiments, trivia and lesson plans
- Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is live-streaming the ‘Home Safari’ via their facebook page
- Zoos Victoria are live-streaming their animals via their website.
- Enjoy an online reading at libraries across Australia.
- Download and read a free book from The State Library of Victoria.
- Join a writing competition through Wyndham City Council
- Duolingo is a free online platform for learning languages
- The New Victory Theatre hosts a series of online music classes for children and young people
- The Kennedy Center has videos of all major concerts and a children’s series called Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
Arts and Culture
- Join a photography competition through Wyndham City Council
- Get creative with NGV Kids online resources including how to make a stop motion animation at home.
Visit museums and galleries online, such as:
- The Melbourne Digital Concert Hall hosts online concerts with Australian musicians
- Melbourne Museum is hosting online tours.
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- Space Center Houston
- National Women’s History Museum
- The Vatican
- Google has partnered with galleries and museums all over the world to produce virtual tours and online resources. You can:
- Explore monuments and museums using Street View
- Explore the collections of hundreds of art galleries across the globe
- Use Art Zoom to explore individual art works in-depth
- Explore the history of sports all over the world using Sports Spotlight
- Read all about Natural History and how scientists learn about the world around us
- Watch Zoos Victoria's animal live streams on their YouTube.
- Enjoy an animal storytime livestream with Melbourne animal shelter Second Chance Animal Rescue.
Looking after your mental health is especially important during overwhelming times.
- Coronavirus is a global emergency, which will almost certainly bring additional stress and may compound other mental health issues. Rapidly changing daily routines can cause distress in young people, so it is important to quickly establish a new routine if you are social distancing. Maintain honest communication with young people about why things are changing, and take cues from them to ease their distress.
- Remember to ask children and young people how they are feeling. Uncertainty and illness can make young people feel distressed and it is important to take time to acknowledge and validate those feelings.
- Headspace has created a fantastic guide about how to cope with stress related to the outbreak.
- BeyondBlue has also created a similar resource for looking after your mental health during the outbreak.
- Public concern, social isolation and an increased focus on hygiene can be triggering for people with anxiety disorders and OCD. If you notice signs of increased anxiety or obsessive behaviour, take time to check-in with your child or young person and do a soothing activity together. The Washington Post has published an article about anxiety and coronavirus.
- If you or your child/young person experiences an eating disorder, the Butterfly Foundation have put together some tips and advice for how to navigate the outbreak, and media responses.
- World Health Organization: messages to keep calm and manage stress
- The NDIS have created a COVID-19 FAQ for participants.
- If you are a carer for a person with a disability, the NDIS Commission offers an Infection Prevention and Control online training module for support workers.
- The NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) have published an easy read fact sheet about COVID-19.
- The Council for Intellectual Disability have created an easy read information guide about viruses and staying healthy.
- If your child/young person uses Aided Language Displays, you can find a COVID-19 ALD.
- The Centre factsheet: Organisational child safeguarding and coronavirus (COVID-19)
- eSafety Commissioner - COVID-19: an online safety kit for parents and carers
- eSafety Commissioner - Aus edition - Global online safety advice for parents and carers
- eSafety Commissioner - Be deadly online
- eSafety Commissioner - Being Safe Online: activity for children
- ThinkYouKnow - A national program delivering online child safety information in schools and organisations.
- FBI Safe Online Searching programme - teaches students in grades 3 to 8 how to navigate the web safely.
- UNODC: The Online Zoo - an online resource and book about online safety for children, available in nine languages.
- Institute of Child Protection Studies - ACU: Safeguarding children during COVID-19