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.

Wake County Smart Start takes the health of our community seriously. Our office is closed effective March 16 – March 31. 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.

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
    • Open Wake County food pantries organized by zip code | LINK
    • Find nearby free meals by phone | Text FOODNC or COMIDA to 877-877
    • List of area food pantries from the Western Regional Food Security Action Group | LINK
    • 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
      • Eggs Up Grill is offering free meals to kids. Just stop in weekdays from 11am – 1pm while school is out through March 27th in NC. No purchase necessary.
      • 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 until March 27th.
    • Knightdale
      • Which Wich and Whalen’s on Hilburn is offering Grab & Go lunches between 11am – 1pm through March 27th
    • 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.
    • Emergency grants from No Kid Hungry for school districts and nonprofits to continue providing meals and nutrition services in our community | LINK


    Financial Resources

    • Applying for unemployment benefits | LINK
    • North Carolina Restaurant Workers Relief Fund | LINK
    • List of companies that are hiring | LINK
    • IRS Tax Deadline Extension | LINK
    • COVID-19 Financial Hardship Grant | LINK
    •  SIWANC Triangle Services Workers Relief Fund (scroll to apply) | LINK
    • USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program | LINK
    • National Domestic Workers Alliance Care Fund | LINK
    • Betancourt Macias Family Fund for Undocumented Families | 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


    Family Assistance

    • Hotline to find child care for essential workers | 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.


    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 list of Wake County facility closures.

    • To apply for Medicaid, people have three options:
      • You may apply online at
      • 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

    Food & Nutrition Services

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

    Energy Assistance

    • Most utility providers are not currently disconnecting service during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, you can obtain an application for energy assistance by calling 919-212-7000.

    Child Care Subsidy

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

    The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NCEYC) has a brief survey for those who are part of an early childhood education program. If you are facing financial and/or health impacts from the spread of the coronavirus, up to and including the closure of your program, please share your story. Survey link here.

    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


    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


    Online Courses (Open-Enrollment and Self-Paced)

    • 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

    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

    • Checklist for providers | PDF Link
    • Door sign for child care facilities | PDF Link


    Options to Purchase Food 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
    • 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


    COVID-19 Safety Resources for Child Care Programs from Child Care Services Association | LINK

    Letter to Child Care Program Leaders from Susan Perry, Chief Deputy Secretary at NC DHHS | LINK

  • Self-Care & Mental Health Resources

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

    Managing Anxiety and Stress from the CDC | 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

    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


  • Kid-Friendly Activities

    Motor & Movement

    • Dance, movement, and arts activities from Arts Together | LINK
    • Dance classes for all ages from Dance Ascension | LINK
    • Home-based ideas from Raleigh Park’s Play Anywhere | LINK
    • Livestream fitness and yoga classes from Triangle Rock Club | LINK
    • Online children’s yoga classes from Growga | LINK
    • Triangle on the Cheap Virtual Events Calendar | LINK
    • WRAL’s 20+  Ways to Keep the Kids Busy at Home | LINK


    Arts & Crafts

    • Mo Willems’s Weekday Lunch Doodles | LINK
    • 10 educational games & activities for 3-year-olds | LINK


    Virtual Storytimes

    • Atlantic White Shark Conservancy daily live storytime | LINK
    • Daily Storytime with Olaf from Frozen (aka actor Josh Gad) on Twitter | LINK
    • 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’ Virtual Storytimes | 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
    • Carolina Tiger Rescue livestreams | LINK
    • Cincinnati Zoo Daily Home Safaris | LINK
    • Daily 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



    • 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