Mental Health and Well-being Supports
Many children, families and child care and early years staff/providers are experiencing increased stress and anxiety, feelings of isolation and are worried about their health and wellbeing and that of their family and friends. Below are some resources and tips about mental health and well-being to support the child care
and early years sector, children, and families. This information comes from the Ministry of Education.
Importance of Self-Care
Consider how to model and promote self-care, support connections and relationships and model flexibility and empathy. Take care of yourself first. If you are well, you will be in a better position to support the others around you.
Diverse Backgrounds and Communities
Consider the realities faced by different communities. What is needed? What are they telling us? What can be done? The Youth Mental Health Resource Hub offers posters and resources that may help child care and early years operators consider the different needs of the children and families they support.
Supporting Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being
Supporting children’s mental health can begin by modelling the behaviours and coping strategies for children to follow. Providing children with opportunities to work cooperatively, feel empowered and assist others can also support mental health and well-being. Additionally, it is important to create a space where children feel comfortable to vocalize their challenges and needs.
For information about the many available and free mental health services and supports for children and adults, visit COVID-19: Support for People. The Kids Help Phone website also offers resources that can be shared with children and families to support mental health and wellbeing.
Supporting children’s learning, development and emotional well-being helps to maintain positive spaces for children to thrive. The province has created a resource entitled Building on How Does Learning Happen? Pedagogical Approaches to Re-opening Early and Child Care Programs in Ontario to support child care and early years providers to safely operate programs during COVID-19 pandemic through shared ideas, reflective questions and lessons learned. The document also contains links to resources that may be useful, including Children’s Mental Health Ontario resources for how to speak to children about their feelings/help them cope (https://cmho.org/covid19/).