For programs providing in-person services, the health and safety of staff, families, and children is the highest priority. Programs must adhere to guidance from the CDC and local health officials. Explore considerations for reopening and operating Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Latest Updates lists all published resources.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Resources
We need to use all of our prevention tools to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, and vaccines are one of the strategies to protect your health and prevent disease. Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Find answers to Head Start and Early Head Start grantees’ common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about what CDC experts are saying about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- COVID-19 and Early Care and Education Considerations Before Reopening
- Early care and education directors and staff, and training and technical assistance staff can use this tool to find resources and practices for caring for children during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
- COVID-19: Health and Hygiene
Head Start and Early Head Start programs should take steps to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 among their staff, children, and families. CDC provides up-to-date information about the current outbreak.
- Reopening Infant/Toddler Programs: Transition Tips
Relationships and continuity are key to infant and toddler development. As programs prepare to open their doors and welcome back babies and their families, they can use these strategies to ensure a smooth transition.
- Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation
Temporary closures or reduced operations of a building and a reduction in water use can create hazards when it comes time for reopening. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated guidance with specific steps to minimize such risks.
Operating In-person During COVID-19
- Social Distancing in Early Care and Education: Feasible or Impossible? (Webinar)
Explore issues around social distancing in early care and education (ECE) programs. Hear from pediatrician Danette Glassy, M.D. about guidance from the CDC. Discover practical strategies for implementation in a variety of early care programs.
- Caring for Children in Group Settings During COVID-19 (Webinar)
ECE programs have many questions about how to keep children and staff healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar highlights guidance and best practices in preventing the spread of disease from the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Caring for Our Children.
- Caring for Children in Group Settings During COVID-19: A Follow-up Conversation (Webinar)
This question-and-answer chat is a follow-up to the Caring for Children in Group Settings During COVID-19 webinar from April 24, 2020.
- Caring for Children with Special Health Care Needs During COVID-19 (Webinar)
Children with special healthcare needs are experiencing unique barriers to care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Join Jessica Foster, M.D. to learn about challenges and strategies to providing supports and care to children with feeding, developmental, and disability concerns.
Supporting Children with Disabilities
Bringing children and families back together after an unexpected, long break has many benefits. It allows time for families to connect with each other, provide routines and structure for children, and prepare children and families who are transitioning to kindergarten. This will also provide a time to update health and medical records and complete assessments or evaluations.
- Determine the child's priority needs and refer to their IFSP or IEP goals. Talk with parents about their child's developmental growth, as well as any regressions they have noticed during this period. Consider these resources for help:
- Consider addressing two or three specific goals. This encourages the child's independence and gets them ready for the next step. You might refamiliarize the child with a communication book, assistive technology, picture schedule, or self-help and adaptive skills as shown in the video 15-minute In-service Suite: Break It Down: Turning Goals into Everyday Teaching Opportunities, which helps put these goals into action.
- Decide whether modifications or adaptations are needed. This increases a child's participation in daily schedule activities. Consider activities such as large-group learning, story time, and small transitions from one activity to another, as well as those that involve self-regulation skills. Learn more with:
- Support children's social and emotional development. This may sound simple, but in the wake of a crisis, their responses to stress and change will vary based upon their disability, temperament, resiliency, and prior experiences with stress and transitions. Review:
- See Services for Children with Disabilities or Suspected Delays for information about supporting families when developmental concerns arise.
National Centers:Office of Head Start
Last Updated: March 30, 2021