COVID-19 Resources

To our community: We hope that you will find resources on this page if you need them. We are here to support you throughout the year, but especially during this time of the COVID-19/coronavirus spread. You can find resources and links below for locations across Wake County. We will attempt to keep the community resources on this page as up to date and accurate as possible. We will make changes and updates as we become aware of them. You can also read and subscribe to our newsletters here, where we compile resources for parents, educators, and stakeholders and share regular updates.

Wake County Smart Start takes the health of our community seriously. Our office is closed effective March 16 until further notice. Our staff can still be reached directly through email. For questions about our partner programs, we recommend you reach out directly to the program itself. Updates about NC Pre-K, including classroom closures, application events, and how to apply, can be found on the Wake Pre-K page.

Please keep your health and the health of your children and families a priority. Make sure to follow NC Department of Health & Human Services and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines as closely as possible. Specific guidance for Wake County can be found here.

Note about Wake Pre-K: Please visit the Wake Pre-K page for information about Wake’s Pre-K programs, applications for the 2020-21 school year, and closures.

 

  • County-Wide Resources

    Food Access

    • WCPSS food distribution pick-up locations
    • Food resources (meal sites for children, mobile food markets, food pantries, and emergency food boxes) across Wake County | LINK
    • Open Wake County food pantries organized by zip code | LINK
    • Wake County Summer Food program | LINK
    • The Catholic Parish Outreach (CPO) food pantry is open Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays from 10am – 1pm. No referral needed, curbside pickup. | LINK
    • Find nearby free meals by phone | Text FOODNC or COMIDA to 877-877
    • USDA’s summer meal site finder | LINK
    • Free “kidz meal bagz” from Sheetz | LINK
    • Western Wake
      • List of area food pantries from the Western Regional Food Security Action Group | LINK
    • Raleigh
      • New Bethel Christian Church (kids under 18 only)
      • 4307 Old Poole Rd., Raleigh, NC 27610
      • Serving lunch 11am – 2pm
    • Cary and Apex
      • Free meals at several locations with curbside pickup | LINK
    • Fuquay-Varina
      • Daddy D’s BBQ is offering a free kid’s meal to any child who needs it. Please mention this at time of purchase (one per child present). They can be ordered weekdays 11am – 2pm.
    • Zebulon
      • Zebulon Methodist Church (121 W Gannon Ave, Zebulon, NC 27597) is offering free meals for children under 18. Pick up from 11am – noon and 5pm – 6pm.
    • Fresh produce and food safety | LINK
    • North Carolina is one of four states that have been approved for the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program. P-EBT eligible families already receiving Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits will receive an additional benefit on their existing EBT card. If you are eligible but not already enrolled in FNS, you will be mailed a new EBT card in the next few weeks with instructions for how to activate and use the card. The P-EBT program provides a benefit on an EBT card to North Carolina families whose children have access to free and reduced lunch at school. You do not have to apply for the P-EBT program. | LINK

     

    Financial Resources

    • Applying for unemployment benefits | LINK
    • North Carolina Restaurant Workers Relief Fund | LINK
    • List of companies that are hiring | LINK
    • Job opportunity with Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative | LINK
    • IRS Tax Deadline Extension | LINK
    • Financial assistance for families living in hotels | LINK
    • SIWANC Triangle Services Workers Relief Fund (scroll to apply) | LINK
    • USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program | LINK
    • National Domestic Workers Alliance Care Fund | LINK
    • Your right to paid leave, unemployment insurance, and safe work | LINK 
    • NC Executive Order 142 temporarily prohibits evictions for nonpayment of rent, provides tenants with extra time to pay past due rent, and extends the previous order that prohibited utility shutoffs | LINK
    • Centro para Familias Hispanas is operating remotely. They offer assistance with SNAP, WIC, Medicaid applications and referrals and information for other services. | Call 919-873-0094 | LINK
    • Loans for small businesses in Wake County from Wake Forward | LINK

     

    Community Resources

    • GoTriangle, GoDurham, GoRaleigh, and GoCary will suspend all fare collections and ask riders who are able to enter through the rear doors of buses in an effort to support social distancing and reduce contact with frequently touched surfaces such as fare boxes. GoTriangle and GoDurham ACCESS and Cary paratransit rides will also be free. | LINK
    • Spectrum – Free internet for 60 days | LINK
    • Free and discounted internet and temporary drive-in wifi hotspots across NC (enter address to find nearby options) | LINK
    • The Nurtured Nest – Free mini-classes | LINK
    • For domestic violence service providers:
      • FAQs | LINK
      • National, state, and Wake County resources | LINK
    • Other community resources compiled at Wake Network of Care | LINK
    • FAQs about COVID-19 and government services from WRAL | LINK
    • AAA Carolinas providing free 24/7 emergency roadside services to first responders and health care workers through April 30, whether or not they are AAA members | Call 866-727-9016
    • Information from NC DHHS about cloth face coverings and NC’s Executive Order requiring they be worn in most public places | LINK
    • How to use a cloth mask and homemade mask instruction from the CDC | LINK
    • Free masks from Dhvani (one per person) | LINK
    • Does your community organization need to provide face masks to at-risk or overlooked groups? You can submit a request for masks from Covering the Triangle | LINK
    • Information about accessing telehealth for healthcare appointments and services | FLYER | VIDEO
    • Make sure your family is counted in the 2020 Census | LINK
    • List of public coronavirus testing sites from NC DHHS | LINK
    • Wake County COVID-19 testing sites and appointments | LINK
    • “Check My Symptoms” screening tool from NC DHHS | LINK

     

    Family Assistance (including child care)

    • Hotline to find child care for essential workers | LINK
    • COVID-19 Parent Application for financial assistance for emergency child care for essential workers | LINK
    • Child care for essential workers through YMCA of the Triangle | LINK
    • Resource directories for Wake County and NC
      • Wake Network of Care | LINK
      • NC 2-1-1 | LINK
    • Child Care Services Association (CCSA)
      • Are you a working parent who can’t work from home, or has your child care program had to close due to the COVID-19 outbreak? CCSA is tracking child care closures and programs with additional capacity. Their services are free. For more information, call 1-855-327-5933.
    • Domestic violence 24/7 hotline from InterAct | Call 919-828-7740
    • Assistance for families living in hotels from Wake Prevent! | LINK
    • COVID-19 bereavement support from the Red Cross | LINK
    • Virtual groups, resources, and more from Triangle Parenting Support | LINK
    • Parent resources from SAFEchild | LINK
    • Postpartum resources during COVID-19 from Postpartum International | LINK
    • COVID-19 information and resources from the Autism Society of NC | LINK
    • Diapers, formula, and wipes available on request with food orders at the Catholic Parish Outreach (CPO) food pantry | LINK
    • Wake Connections links you to services for pregnant women, first-time moms, infants, toddlers, and young children who have not yet started Kindergarten. These programs can help with pregnancy and postpartum support, school readiness, behavior management, parenting skills, and child development. | LINK
    • Coronavirus information for new moms | LINK

     

    Accessing Wake County Human Services
    Because people are encouraged to stay home and avoid crowded places, Wake County has shared some ways that residents can access services without coming to Human Services buildings. Here is a master list of Wake County Human Services information and resources.
    Medicaid

    • To apply for Medicaid, people have three options:
      • You may apply online at epass.nc.gov
      • You may mail applications to: Wake County Human Services, PO Box 46833, Raleigh, NC 27620
      • You may apply by calling 818-212-7000
    • Medicaid questions can be emailed to FCMAintake@wakegov.com

    Food & Nutrition Services

    • To apply for food and nutrition services, people may:
      • Apply online at epass.nc.gov
      • Mail applications to: Wake County Human Services, PO Box 46833, Raleigh, NC 27620
    • Questions related to Food and Nutrition Services can be emailed to foodandnutrition@wakegov.com. If you need to speak with your case worker, call 919-212-7000.

    Energy Assistance

    Child Care Subsidy

    • To apply for assistance with child care costs, email childcaresubsidy@wakegov.com. Questions about child care subsidy can be answered by calling 919-212-7000.
  • Resources for Parents & Educators

    Social-Emotional Support

    • Answering Your Young Child’s Questions About Coronavirus | LINK
    • Helping Children Cope with Frightening News | LINK
    • What to Say to Your Child About the Coronavirus | LINK
    • How to Help Children Manage Fears | LINK
    • Tips for Calming Anxious Kids | LINK
    • Anger, Sadness, Fear: Showing Our Emotions to Our Kids | LINK
    • Concerned About a Child’s Anxiety | LINK
    • 7 Music Games for Practicing Self-Regulation | LINK
    • Mr. Rogers talks about tragic events in the news (video) | LINK
    • Sesame Street in Communities: Exploring Emotions | LINK
    • Building social, emotional, and intellectual development through everyday moments | LINK
    • Resources that promote resilience and social and emotional development | LINK
    • Free downloadable picture book explaining coronavirus to kids and answering their questions | LINK
    • Setting limits to relieve stress | LINK
    • Recommendations to support and protect children’s emotional well-being during the pandemic | LINK
    • Hope4Healers mental health hotline from NC DHHS for health care and child care workers | Call 919-226-2002
    • COVID-19 Parent & Caregiver Guide from Prevent Child Abuse NC and NC DHHS | LINK

     

    Talking about Race and Racism

    • We’re Different, We’re the Same read along series from Sesame Street | LINK
    • Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup | LINK
    • Anti-oppressive/anti-racist home instruction resource list | LINK
    • Black Lives Matter resources for educators | LINK
    • Teaching Tolerance lesson plans | LINK
    • Afrocentric Homeschooling | LINK
    • Racism and Violence: Using Your Power as a Parent to Support Children Aged Two to Five | LINK
    • Talking to Children about Racism: The Time is Now | LINK
    • Talking to Children about Racial Bias | LINK
    • Teaching Children Cultural and Racial Pride | LINK
    • Books to Build Character & Teach Your Child Important Values | LINK
    • Talking about Race from the National Museum of African American History & Culture | LINK
    • Anti-Racism Books for Kids | LINK
    • 13 Children’s Books About Race and Diversity | LINK
    • How to Talk Honestly with Children about Racism | LINK

     

    Other Resources

    • How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus | LINK
    • Sesame Street in Communities: Staying Healthy | LINK
    • Stress, Resilience, and the Role of Science: Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University | LINK
    • How to clean your child’s stuffed toys | LINK
    • List of education companies offering free subscriptions | LINK
    • Safety tips for potential home injuries to children | LINK
    • 5 tips to make the most of video chats for children | LINK
    • Parenting supports from Triple P | LINK
    • Virtual support group for families of children with special needs | LINK
    • The Brain Architects podcast from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child about COVID-19 and early childhood development | LINK
    • How and why to wear a mask (printable flyer for centers to share with parents) | ENGLISH | SPANISH

     

    Online Courses (Free, Open-Enrollment, and Self-Paced)

    • NAEYC’s Virtual Institute, over 100 presentations for early childhood professionals, advocates, families, and supporters who are interested in early childhood education. Presenters come from all sectors of early childhood, including policy experts, higher education faculty, school leaders, researchers, and educators. (The Virtual Institute begins June 1, 2020.) | LINK
    • Emergent Learning in the Early Childhood Classroom | LINK
    • When a Child Bites: Prevention and Intervention | LINK
    • Managing Big Feelings | LINK
    • More than Maps: Exploring Geography | LINK
    • You Can’t Come to My Birthday Party: Navigating Friendships | LINK
    • The Power of Scribbling: Supporting Emergent Writing | LINK
    • The Peace Table: Conflict Resolution in the Preschool Classroom | LINK
    • Strengthening Family and School Relationships | LINK
    • Making Our Mark! | LINK
    • Developing Language, Creativity, and Critical Thinking | LINK
    • Little Bodies Big Feelings | LINK
    • Teacher Self-Care | LINK
    • In Dialogue with Reggio: An Introduction to the Reggio Approach | LINK
    • Around the World with Storytelling | LINK
    • Math is Everywhere! | LINK
    • Cultivating a Growth Mindset (Leadership Series) | LINK
  • Provider Resources

    Guidance for Child Care Providers

    • Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 for Child Care Providers from NC DHHS | LINK
    • NC DHHS Recommendations for Child Care Centers | LINK
    • Guidance for Child Care Providers from NC DCDEE | PDF Link
    • DCDEE’s What’s New: Coronavirus Information for Child Care | LINK
    • DCDEE’s checklist for providers | PDF Link
    • DCDEE’s door sign for child care facilities | PDF Link
    • Letter to Child Care Program Leaders from Susan Perry, Chief Deputy Secretary at NC DHHS | LINK
    • COVID-19 Safety Resources for Child Care Programs from Child Care Services Association | LINK
    • Hope4Healers mental health hotline from NC DHHS for health care and child care workers | Call 919-226-2002
    • Environmental Rating Scale resources for ITERS-R, ECERS-R, and family child care homes from NC Rated License Assessment Project (NCRLAP) | LINK

     

    WEBINAR: Financial Help for Wake County Child Care Providers, hosted by WCSS, in partnership with the City of Raleigh’s Office of Economic Development and Innovation and Celito.net  | WEBINAR RECORDING

    • Helpful links mentioned in the webinar | LINK
    • Slide deck from presenter Katrece Boyd, General Business Counselor, Small Business Technology and Development Center (SBTDC) | LINK
    • Slide deck from presenter Jessie Maxwell, Business Development Officer, Self-Help Credit Union | LINK

     

    WEBINAR: Assessing Financial Survival for Child Care Providers: First Steps, hosted by WCSS with presentation by Katrece Boyd, General Business Counselor, Small Business Technology and Development Center (SBTDC) | WEBINAR RECORDING

    • SBTDC COVID-19 Business Toolkit Page | LINK
    • Creating a cash flow projection from Wells Fargo | LINK 1 | LINK 2
    • Cash flow projection worksheet from SCORES | LINK
    • Digital marketing guide | LINK
    • Digital marketing worksheets | LINK
    • Slide deck from presenter Katrece Boyd, General Business Counselor, Small Business Technology and Development Center (SBTDC) | LINK
    • Reopening resource from NC Early Education Coalition | LINK
    • Reopening resource from NC DHHS | LINK
    • Partnership and collaboration resources from Opportunities Exchange | LINK

     

    Other Financial Resources

    • COVID-19 Relief Fund for child care programs from Child Care Services Association in partnership with Smart Start (Applications due Friday, May 1) | LINK
    • Small Business Owners Guide to CARES Act has easy to understand information on financial supports available for small businesses through the Federal government | LINK
    • City of Raleigh’s Office of Economic Development and Innovation has compiled resources, guidance, and Q&A for businesses affected by COVID-19 | LINK
    • SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) | LINK
    • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) toolkit from FMA | LINK
    • CASE at Duke’s COVID-19 capital relief searchable database for global, national, and regional capital sources for profit and nonprofit entrepreneurs | LINK
    • The Save Small Business Fund from the US Chamber of Commerce | LINK
    • Coronavirus grant funding opportunities from Grant Station | LINK
    • COVID-19 Business Resource Center from Hello Alice | LINK
    • Grants available for women entrepreneurs of color from SheaMoisture | LINK
    • Verizon Small Business Development Fund | LINK
    • Grants up to $5,000 for women business owners from The Red Backpack Fund | LINK
    • Grants for black female entrepreneurs from The Doonie Fund | LINK
    • Funds for coronavirus relief from Candid | LINK
    • COVID-19 Child Care Payment Policies from NC DHHS related to Subsidized Child Care program payments, NC Pre-K program payments, Emergency Child Care Subsidy program payments, and Bonus payments to child care teachers and staff providing services during the COVID-19 outbreak | LINK
    • Webinar recording: Managing a PPP loan effectively | LINK
    • Loans for small businesses in Wake County from Wake Forward | LINK

     

    Options to Purchase Food & Cleaning Supplies for Child Care Programs

    • Information about purchasing from FreshPoint, Farmer Foodshare, Sysco, catering from local restaurants, directly from local farmers, and the CCSA Centralized Kitchen | PDF Link (updated 04/09/20)
    • FreshPoint fruit & vegetable boxes | LINK
    • Pricing for Sysco (updated 04/06/20) | LINK
    • Contact Lynn Policastro, Healthy Initiatives Program Coordinator, directly with questions

     

    Waiver Request Form for Centers Participating in CACFP | LINK

    • Information on the most current waivers from Nutrition Services | LINK
  • Self-Care & Mental Health Resources

    Assistance connecting to tele-therapy available 24/7 from Alliance Health | Call 1-800-510-9132

    Wake Behavioral Health Urgent Care | ONLINE or call 866-272-7826

    Hope4Healers mental health hotline from NC DHHS for health care and child care workers | Call 919-226-2002

    Hope4NC mental health hotline from NC DHHS for all other NC residents | Call 1-855-587-3463

    Lucy Listens, up to four hours of free, short-term, solutions-focused support for parents and their children provided by a licensed mental health counselor from Lucy Daniels Center | LINK

    Managing Anxiety and Stress from the CDC | LINK

    Wake Connections links you to services for pregnant women, first-time moms, infants, toddlers, and young children who have not yet started Kindergarten. These programs can help with pregnancy and postpartum support, school readiness, behavior management, parenting skills, and child development. | LINK

    Ways to eliminate stress and anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic | LINK

    The importance of self-care | LINK

    Self-care strategies for teachers | LINK

    Practicing self-care during the coronavirus pandemic | LINK

    Resources, links, and self-assessments about self-care, particularly for educators | LINK

    The Power of Mindfulness | LINK

    Mindful Parenting | LINK

    Getting Started with Mindfulness: A Toolkit for Early Childhood Organizations | LINK

    Mindfulness for Early Childhood Professionals | LINK

    Mindfulness: How and why it works | LINK

    Mindfulness and meditation guidance | LINK

    Online yoga workshops | LINK

    Daily online yoga classes | LINK

    Inspiration and meditation | LINK

    Relaxing and zen radio stations | LINK

    Six daily questions to ask yourself in quarantine | LINK

    Webinar: Pathways to Resilience in Times of Change | LINK

    Loving Yourself as You Are (There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Parent) | LINK

    Easing Worries and Fear with Deep Breathing | LINK

     

  • Kid-Friendly Activities

    Motor & Movement

    • At-home activity guide for infants & toddlers | LINK
    • Dance, movement, and arts activities from Arts Together | LINK
    • Home-based ideas from Raleigh Park’s Play Anywhere | LINK
    • Triangle on the Cheap Virtual Events Calendar | LINK
    • WRAL’s 20+  Ways to Keep the Kids Busy at Home | LINK
    • Yoga for children (and all ages) from local mom YogaJoy | LINK
    • Virtual Fam Jam with Kidzu | LINK
    • Active play lists, activities, family engagement, and more from Be Active Kids | LINK
    • Virtual Wellness from Dix Park including Young Friends Guided Stillness | LINK
    • Singalong videos with local dad “Mooseclumps” | LINK
    • Activities and resources from Triangle YMCA | LINK

     

    Arts & Crafts

    • Mo Willems’s Weekday Lunch Doodles | LINK
    • 10 educational games & activities for 3-year-olds | LINK
    • Color Our Collections printable coloring sheets from museums around the world | LINK
    • Coloring book that helps explain COVID-19 | LINK
    • Make your own pie tin butterfly feeder from Activate Good | LINK
    • Five tips for planning your family pandemic garden from NC State Extension 4-H | LINK
    • Songs, stories, coloring, and activities about the 2020 Census (English & Spanish) | LINK

     

    Virtual Storytimes

    • Magic of Storytelling podcast from ABC11 | LINK
    • Music and storytime ideas from Soapstone Preschool | LINK
    • Pete the Cat Club Daily Storytimes on Instagram Live | LINK
    • Wake County Public Libraries’ Storytime, Anytime! | LINK
    • Family storytime videos from Kidzu | LINK
    • Storytime and science exploration with NC Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville | LINK

     

    Virtual Tours

    • 20 virtual field trips to take with your kids | LINK
    • Animal updates and field trips from the Shedd Aquarium on Twitter | LINK
    • Cincinnati Zoo Daily Home Safaris | LINK
    • Virtual Visits and video animal updates from the NC Zoo | LINK
    • List of Virtual Field Trips across the country, around the world, and into outer space | LINK
    • Live webcams of 10 different animals at the San Diego Zoo | LINK
    • Live webcams of 10 different aquatic animals and habitats at the Monterey Bay Aquarium | LINK
    • Virtual Disney rides on YouTube | LINK
    • NC State College of Veterinary Medicine Video Library including goats, horses, and turtles | LINK

     

    Educational

    • Get FREE BOOKS delivered straight to your child from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library! | LINK
    • 100+ free video read-alouds | LINK
    • Circle time and classroom activities from Little by Little Preschool | LINK
    • Free audio books for kids from Audible (as long as schools are closed) | LINK
    • Literacy-focused educational activities and resources from Brightly | LINK
    • NCLearn@Home with resources from our state’s museums, historic sites, zoos, aquariums, and other cultural sites (for parents and educators of all ages) | LINK
    • NC Office of Early Learning remote learning resources (updated weekly) | LINK
    • Scholastic Learn at Home, Grades Pre-K thru K | LINK
    • The Spanish Experiment | LINK
    • Wake County Public Libraries’ Online Resources | LINK
    • Marbles Kids Museum’s Daily Doses of Play & Playful Parenting tips | LINK
    • Educational/instructional food and agricultural resources | LINK
    • Skywatching and planetarium shows from Morehead Planetarium | LINK
    • “Caring for Each Other” from Sesame Street | LINK
    • Virtual 2020 North Carolina Science Festival | LINK
    • Rootle PBS Kids channel | LINK
    • Resources and activities with counting, coloring, and animal themes from Statistics in Schools | LINK
    • Live and on-demand interactive classes for 18 mos. – 6 years old, from Beanstalk | LINK
    • Find kid-friendly volunteer activities to give back together from Activate Good | LINK
    • Nature exploration videos with Prairie Ridge Ecostation | LINK
    • S.P.A.R.K. (STEM, Play, Art, Reading and Writing, Kindness and Collaboration) series from Kid Lab | LINK