We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, both mentally and physically, during the COVID-19 health crisis. Governor Pritzker announced the creation of a new hotline, called Call4Calm, for people who want to get help with mental health issues arising from the pandemic. Illinois residents can text TALK to 552-020 and the state will put them in touch with a counselor. For assistance in Spanish, people can text HABLAR to the same number. This service is free to use, and it is available no matter your personal circumstances, and you will remain completely anonymous,
Everyone connected to the state’s early care and education system is focused on making sure young children, their families and providers feel safe and secure during this unprecedented global pandemic. To that end, we hope that during these trying times you’ll find the following resources helpful.
The best source for updated information on actions taken by the state is the COVID-19 page on the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD)’s website. We encourage everyone to visit this page regularly. The site includes recent updates on emergency child care and teletherapy in Early Intervention, among other critical issues.
In addition, see below for additional resources we hope will provide needed guidance and support for families and those in the field. Please bear in mind that the situation is dynamic and new information is released daily.
- Overview of the Federal Legislation Assisting Children, Families, and Child Care Providers (from the First Five Years Fund): An overview of how three provisions of the CARES Act support existing early learning programs, small business and families. This resource also gives on overview of the federal appropriations relevant to early learning and care, small business funding and human services (4/2/20).
- COVID-19 Resources for Individuals and Families in Illinois (from the Shriver Center): Information about aid to communities seeking support during the COVID-19 pandemic (4/2/20).
- COVID Resources for Immigrant Families (from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights): Website dedicated to information for immigrant and undocumented families (updated regularly).
- COVID-19 Policy Resources (from the Heartland Alliance): Information on the recent policy changes and supports that may be available to those in your community (updated regularly).
- COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits (from the Illinois Department of Employment Security): An overview of the changes to the state’s unemployment insurance program (updated regularly).