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Expert Advice

How to support working parents during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in profound and unprecedented ways. Most if not all of us are worried about someone we love—whether it’s a relative, a friend, or our community as a whole.

In the face of this crisis, it’s important to remember that even the smallest acts of care can make a difference. We’ve compiled the tips and resources below to help you find simple, concrete ways to take action.

With families self-isolating, many adults working from home, and limited childcare options, the pandemic has been particularly disruptive for working parents of young children. Caring for a friend’s kids in person may not be an option right now — but there are other things you can do to help.

Start by offering to occupy kids virtually so parents can take care of other responsibilities. Schedule a phone or video call to read stories or play games with younger kids, or to help older kids with schoolwork. You can also curate and share homeschooling resources from sources like Khan Academy’s suggested homeschooling schedules, Common Sense Media’s curated games and videos for families, and PBS Kids for Parents. Send links to specific activities, or better yet, guide kids through the content yourself over video or phone.

Finally, remember to express support for the full range of choices parents might make about what’s best for their families right now. Some parents will opt out of homeschooling, relax screen time restrictions, or make other adjustments to expectations and routines. You can help just by letting them know you respect those decisions.

Here are some additional resources to help you support working parents of school-aged kids: