Supporting Families & Providers During COVID-19
More than ever, children are vulnerable to factors beyond their control, especially those from communities that are the furthest from opportunity.
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected these communities, with higher-than-average infection, hospitalization, and mortality rates – and the resulting economic and social fallout that has compounded the difficulties of these children and their families.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, IAFC has been reaching out to the children, families and providers we serve to learn about their challenges and offer support.
To date, IAFC has distributed more than $150,000 in gift cards and funding to families and providers experiencing negative impacts from the pandemic.
Here are some ways that IAFC has responded:
- Provided direct in-kind and monetary support for emergency family needs, including over 260 $500 gift cards. Families were able to access food, rent and utilities, diapers and formula, other household items, PPE, safe transport to health care, and links to community resources.
- Created a virtual toolkit for families eligible for stimulus money but who don’t file taxes, so were not automatically included in the distribution.
- Supported children with undocumented parents who fear going to the doctor.
Child Care and Early Learning
- Created a new website, Caring for Children During COVID-19, with funding opportunities, guidelines, learning activities, and other resources.
- Coordinated and adapted emergency options to enable essential workers to secure the child care they need to continue working.
- Continued to process CCAP funding to maintain affordability.
- Purchased technology for over 50 families so that they could participate in remote learning.
- Provided grab-n-go meals for the children in our programs.
Support for Providers
- Helped 332 licensed child care and early learning providers apply for federal stimulus dollars to sustain their small businesses.
- Distributed $15,000 in grant assistance—including PPE, cleaning supplies, toys, and books—to Family, Friend, and Neighbor providers, and an additional $5,000 to provide cleaning supplies and PPE to Cook County providers.
- Supplied providers who wanted to offer emergency child care with critical information about the required application process.
- Via a new technology platform, connected emergency child care providers virtually with our Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants at no charge for assistance with issues related to the children in their care.