COVID-19 Resources for Families with Young Children

Table of Contents 

  • Child Care in Phases 3 & 4 of Restore Illinois
  • Emotional Well-being Toolkit
  • Essential Resources
  • Protection for My Family & Household
  • Resources for Immigrant Families
  • Resources for Children with Special Needs


Child Care in Phases 3 & 4 of Restore Illinois 

  • To find child care in your area, please contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R) by calling 1-877-202-4453 or visiting this website.
  • Reopening Child Care in Illinois: For Families contains responses to frequently asked questions to keep families with young children informed about what Phase 3 & 4 of Illinois’ reopening will look like in regards to child care.
  • Starting in Phase 3, the use of child care centers and homes is no longer restricted to the children of essential workers. 
  • Restore Illinois: A Public Health Approach to Safely Open Our State is a five-phased plan guided by health metrics to safely and deliberately reopen Illinois. 


Emotional Well-being Toolkit: Resources for Children, Families & Caregivers 

This is a stressful time for children and families. Concerns about the spread of COVID-19 are growing. Children may struggle with significant adjustments to their routines, which may interfere with their sense of security. Pressure on parents and caregivers can be overwhelming and leads to frustration. The Illinois Pyramid Model State Leadership Team, in collaboration with the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development, has collected resources to help manage stressors and to promote wellness during these challenging times. The Emotional Well-being Toolkit includes: 

  • How to Communicate with Children about COVID-19 
  • Learning Activities to Do at Home 
  • Parent and Children Self-care
  • And more! 
SEL Toolkit Image Click here for a quick tutorial on how to navigate the Emotional Well-Being Toolkit. 

Essential Resources

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recent urgent warning to consumers and health care providers about hand sanitizer products that are labeled as containing ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. Please check the FDA webpage (which lists products to avoid) on a regular basis to stay fully informed regarding this important health issue.

Questions about COVID-19?

Should I send my child back to child care?
  • Finding answers about locating care and understanding the risks of child care can be difficult. Child Care Aware of America has launched an Emergency Child Care and Technical Assistance CenterTM, a centralized hub of information, to help support families during the current child care crisis. 
Financial Support
Mental Health Concerns
  • Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19 can text "TALK" or "HABLAR" to: 5-5-2-0-2-0. Within 24 hours, you will receive a call from a counselor employed by a local community mental health center to provide support.
  • Erikson Institute is now offering virtual mental health services in English and Spanish for parents and caregivers of young children regardless of their ability to pay. Most major insurances are accepted, and services can also be provided on a sliding scale or pro-bono basis. Parents and caregivers can reach out to set up an appointment through the intake line at 312-709-0508 (English) or 312-934-6446 (Spanish), or by visiting www.Erikson.edu/ccf.
Food and Nutrition 
  • All students who qualify for free or reduced meals at school, regardless of status, are now eligible for the Illinois Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. If a family has a LINK card, these benefits will automatically be applied to their account; no need to call or apply. If a family does not have a LINK card, they can apply for this special program. Families can participate in both P-EBT and any meal distribution program that is currently available at their school; there is no need to choose one or the other. Click here for more information on the program and here for a P-EBT eligibility guide in Spanish and English for parents with school-age children. This benefit is available regardless of immigration status and is not considered in the public charge test.
  • ISBE has obtained the USDA waiver to provide meals to all children under age 18 during school closures, including children under five. Families should call their local public school for more information. 
  • Beginning Tuesday, September 8, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will have more than 450 meal sites for the 2020–21 school year. Students, parents, or guardians may pick up free meals at the nearest school from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please find the nearest meal distribution site using this map. If families are unable to visit a meal site in-person, the district will continue to provide free delivery for those who need additional support.
  • Memo from ISBE's Nutrition Program for Programs Participating in CACFP (ISBE) (3/25/2020)
  • Find Food Near You (Greater Chicago Food Depository)

Internet Access for CPS Students

  • Chicago Connected is a groundbreaking program that will provide free high-speed internet service to approximately 100,000 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students. This first-of-its-kind program will be one of the largest and longest-term efforts by any city to provide free, high-speed internet over the course of four years to increase internet access for students. Chicago families can click here to check their eligibility. 

Countering COVID-19 Stigma & Racism

Home Visiting 


Protection for My Family & Household


Resources for Immigrant Families


Resources for Children with Special Needs