Learning at Home During Trying Times

Many families with young children are seeking resources about learning at home with young children as the COVID-19 situation evolves in our communities. This is a trying time for early childhood programs and families as they work together to keep young children safe, healthy, and learning. We encourage adults to (1) keep a stable routine and provide consistent guidance, (2) give child-appropriate explanations, (3) provide developmentally appropriate activities, and (4) reach out for support and information from reliable sources. The resources on this list are organized by these four principles. (Note: This list was originally created on March 12, 2020 and has been updated regularly. For additional IEL resources created about this topic, please see our COVID-19 page.)

See related blog: Keep Young Children Learning at Home During Trying Times.

Father and daughter sit in front of a laptop

Stable Routines and Consistent Guidance

The selected IEL resources below provide ideas to help caregivers use positive guidance strategies and provide stable routines for young children.

Child-Appropriate Explanations

The links below provide information about managing stress and providing child-appropriate explanations about the coronavirus.

Developmentally Appropriate Activities

Below are selected IEL tip sheets and a blog with ideas for learning activities for young children. See our blogs, videos, and other resources for additional ideas.

Reach Out for Support

Your local health department, school district, and faith-based and community organizations are a source of support during this trying time. The resources below can help you locate these agencies and groups.

  • Find Your Local Health Department
    This link will help you locate your local public health office in Illinois. If there is no local public health department in your area, contact the Illinois Department of Public Health directly for guidance.
  • 211 Hotline
    Use the the 211 hotline to find resources in your local community in Illinois. Service areas may be viewed on this map. Simply dial 211 on your phone to connect to an operator who can help you find services and supports in your local community.
  • On Our Sleeves: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Resource Directory for Illinois
    This link provides a warm line and crisis line information for families in Illinois.

Reliable Sources of Information on COVID-19

Below are resources for reliable information about the COVID-19 situation and young children:

Additional Resources for Families

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Child Care Center
  • Family Child Care
  • Home
  • Preschool Program

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family
  • Teachers / Service providers

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
  • Infants and Toddlers (Birth To Age 3)
  • Kindergarten
  • Preschoolers (Age 3 Through Age 5)

Reviewed: 2020