We hope you are all staying well at this difficult time. Here are some suggestions and links (in blue) to more information which may help you, your family and your community.
As the HSE state “Infectious disease outbreaks like coronavirus (COVID-19), can be worrying. This can affect your mental health. But there are many things you can do to mind your mental health during times like this''. To read in full click here.
Helping Your Community
It may help an elderly neighbour to know there are people close by who can help. If you feel you are in a position to help, drop a note with your phone number in the door to them, particularly if they are living alone. You could offer to get them a few groceries which you could leave at their door or simply have a chat on the phone with them.
Staying in Touch with Family & Friends
Regular phone and/or video contact with friends and family is critical at this time. It is particularly important to keep in touch with them if they are living alone. You can set up a conference call with friends and family so that a few people can have a chat at the same time. An even better option could be a video call or video conference as it really gives an extra dimension which will help reduce peoples feeling of isolation as they can see your smiling face! Options here are WhatsApp Voice Calls, WhatsApp Video Calls, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Zoom and Houseparty.
Encourage Children to Help Those Isolated Too
Encourage children to write a story or a letter or to draw a picture for their grandparents or elderly neighbour and pop it in the post. Alternatively you could contact your local hospital or nursing home and see if any of their patients would like to receive a letter or picture from your child to give to those who are isolated or alone with them.
There is further information on supporting communities during COVID-19 on the National Women's Council of Ireland's new hub, click here for more.
Helping Your Children
Home Schooling Tips
Childminders are probably in a better position than most when it comes to home schooling, so maybe you can offer advice and support to your friends on dealing with children! It is important to set up and stick to a routine with children on homeschooling and also to set up a designated workspace for them if possible. Don’t forget to get kids to take breaks and get them to work in 30-40 minute slots. Build in some PE time too.
Children’s Learning Resources
RTE will run School on TV from Monday 30 March. There are tons of online learning resources to help you with home schooling too. Some websites which you may find useful are Scholastic Learn from home, a home school website, Help My Kid Learn and Hit the Button.
If you are looking for something to keep yourself busy or to take time for yourself, visit your local library online, take a tour of an online museum, become part of an online choir, take an online course or simply watch a recommended TV show.
The National Women's Council of Ireland have created a new website hub on Women and COVID-19 with information on resources and supports on many aspects of life during this crisis. This includes links to information about minding your health and your mental health as well as support for women experiencing violence during COVID-19. Click here to access this hub.
Stay safe and please share any other useful links or resources you have with us on firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can share with other childminders.