March 2020
Parent Connections
Top 3 Things To Know
#1 - Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day

know there is some confusion about what to do next in the midst of this unprecedented time of a pandemic, school closures, and widespread social disruption. As a primary care physician and public health leader, I have been asked by a lot of people for my opinion, and I will provide it below based on the best information available to me today. These are my personal views, and my take on the necessary steps ahead.

What I can clearly say is that what we do, or don't do, over the next week will have a massive impact on the local and perhaps national trajectory of coronavirus. We are only about 11 days behind Italy and generally on track to repeat what is unfortunately happening there and throughout much of the rest of Europe very soon.
At this point, containment through contact tracing and increased testing is only part of the necessary strategy. We must move to pandemic mitigation through widespread, uncomfortable, and comprehensive social distancing. That means not only shutting down schools, work (as much as possible), group gatherings, and public events, but also making daily choices to stay away from each other as much as possible to Flatten The Curve....

#2 -  New way of interacting... Video Chatting
Five Tips to Make the Most of Video Chats
Video chatting with apps such as FaceTime and Skype is a great way for young children to stay in touch with long-distance family and friends. Use these five tips to help children build relationships, communicate and learn from loved ones on the screen.

Here are five ways to help your child get the max from screen-time conversations:
  1. Make it a social, interactive experience. Try rhymes, songs, dancing, finger plays, and games like peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek that young children can participate in and enjoy with their screen partner.
  2. Use props. Encourage the screen partner to read one of the child's favorite books, as the child follows along with his own copy. Or, the video partner can play with a toy car while the child rolls her toy car. Puppets and stuffed animals also are great props for playing together virtually. Also, sharing a snack together is a favorite of young children.
  3. Be the "hands and heart" of the the person on-screen. When the screen partner "tickles" your baby's tummy, give your child's tummy a tickle, too. When a grandparent leans toward the screen to "kiss" your toddler, you can give him a kiss on the cheek. By taking this role, you help nurture the relationship between the child and their on-screen friend.
  4. Explain any technical difficulties. Tell the child why the call dropped, or why the video partner may appear to "freeze" on the screen or not be looking directly at her. Explaining these experiences in simple terms helps children better understand both the technology and the interaction. It can also help screen partners adjust factors on their side (like the angle of their webcam) to improve the video chat. 
  5. Let children take the lead with the technology as they grow. For example, toddlers can learn how to touch the green button to call or red button to hang up.
#3 - Stuck at home with young kids due to the coronavirus? Here's what to do-and not to do
With schools closed in the majority of states due to the coronavirus and the length of those closures looking increasingly long, millions of parents are now finding themselves juggling full-time jobs and full-time parenting. In many districts, students are following online learning programs. In other cases, students are learning from their parents who have become unofficial teachers and  launched homeschool programs . But for parents and caregivers of young children who can't learn online, have shorter attention spans and need much more attention, the prospect of working and caring for children can seem daunting, if not impossible.
"It's a really hard time to be a parent right now," said Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, who spoke as his own daughter was sitting through her first day of online learning. "I have so much empathy for what parents are going through."

Finding Child Care in the
"new normal" 
COVID-19 is changing the world as we know it, including child care. 
If you need child care, we are here to help. You can call the Referral Department 914-761-3456 ext. 140 and receive profiles of open child care programs/providers specific to your needs. We are confirming at least 3 openings for health care workers and first responders.
Children's Corner
Activities to Do at Home

Health Corner


In This Issue
  • The "new normal"
  • Activities to do from home
  • Hand washing song
What's Happening at the Council
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Community Resources
Sometimes a little help can go along way. 

If you struggle with having enough to eat, there is help. 

Feeding Westchester sources and distributes food all throughout Westchester. 
Agency Locator , helps you find the closest feeding program to meet your needs. 
Mobile Food Pantry Schedule , helps you find mobile food deliveries in your area
 Network Feeding List, is a list of feeding partners throughout Westchester  
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United Way's 2-1-1 call specialists can give you information about things such as:
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