COVID-19 and the Head Start Community

Family Financial Capability, Employment, and Education

There are a number of things Head Start programs can do to support family economic stability during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This section is regularly updated with the most relevant guidance and resources. All published resources are listed under Recent Updates.

Partnering with Families to Seek Relief Through the American Rescue Plan
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides many sources of direct and indirect financial relief for Head Start families. Head Start programs can help all staff and families access critical supports for which they are eligible. Learn about these benefits and what you can do to help families reach their economic mobility goals using the ARP benefits.

Partnering with Families to Build Economic Security During Emergencies
Learn how to partner with families to access federal assistance, open a bank account, apply for unemployment insurance benefits, pursue their education and training goals, and more.

How Head Start Can Help You During Emergencies—Tips for Parents
Explore these tips sheets to learn how your Head Start program can work with you to access important information, benefits, and tools that can strengthen your family's economic security during crises.

Building Foundations for Economic Mobility (BFEM)
Head Start and Early Head Start programs are well positioned to partner with families to achieve their goals. Explore this collection of resources from the BFEM Initiative to help families focus on their well-being and progress.

Earned Income Tax Credit and Other Refundable Tax Credits
Review information about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and child tax credits. These credits are among the largest IRS public benefits for low-income households. Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care staff can ensure families are informed about these credits and other financial tools. Use these resources to help determine eligibility and next steps.

Economic Mobility Toolkit for Head Start and Early Head Start
Respond to families' concerns about economic stability. Explore this toolkit as a one-stop shop for everything programs need to know about financial capability services, education, and employment offerings for Head Start and Early Head Start families.

Partnering with Community Colleges to Support Student Parents
Explore how Head Start and Early Head Start programs can play a role in helping student-parents identify higher education programs in their area. Learn ways to partner with community colleges to push for the creation of resources for student-parents.

Food Security and Nutrition

Family Food Security
Many Head Start families are struggling with food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the needs of school-aged children, the USDA is coordinating several efforts which may apply to siblings of Head Start children. Explore available resources.

Meals, Snacks, and Diapers for Children
Head Start and Early Head Start programs may provide meals, snacks and diapers to enrolled children and families whether services are provided in person or virtually. Find more about CACFP flexibilities and appropriate use of program funds

Housing Stability

Strategies for Supporting Families Experiencing Homelessness and Housing Instability During COVID-19
During this difficult time, it is critical to regularly check in with families about the stability of their current living situation. This is especially important for families experiencing homelessness. Programs should use creativity in serving families remotely during the COVID-19 emergency, including doing all they can to help families maintain their housing. Explore considerations and strategies for working with families who are or may be at risk for experiencing homelessness.

Supporting Families Experiencing Homelessness During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In this video, Dr. Bergeron has an insightful conversation with Barbara Duffield, executive director of Schoolhouse Connections. They discuss ways Head Start programs can best support families experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis.