Supporting Staff: YMCA of Metro Atlanta

When the Y shifted their services to provide all-day childcare for essential workers, they knew they needed to look out for their staff just as much as the children and families they were serving.

During this time, it is essential to support both the physical and mental wellness of children, families, and program staff.

We're collecting resources on how you can best provide that support – to others and yourself. Included below are resources for supporting family and parent wellbeing, keeping kids physically active and eating well while at home, best practices for self-care, and more.

The America Youth Policy Forum has seeded a list of tools and resources designed for traditionally underserved youth, which spans resources from online learning for students with disabilities and Spanish speaking families to supports for meals, medicine and shelter.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness' COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide is written in a FAQ format and answers diverse questions related to wellness during this outbreak.

Well-Being in the time of COVID

Learn tips from the Mental Health First Aid curriculum to help support your own and your loved ones' mental health. To learn more about the importance of taking care of yourself, the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley has an article on why taking care of your own well-being helps others.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation also has a four-part training designed to help educators focus on their own well-being.

Parent Well-Being

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides tips and resources for parents facing additional stressors as a result of COVID-19, ranging from tips for self-care to healthy techniques for disciplining children. Parents who are feeling stressed or anxious as a result of the outbreak can also read this article published by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley on How to Keep the Greater Good in Mind During the Coronavirus Outbreak, or a guide published by The Atlantic's "Dear Therapist" column writer on staying sane during a pandemic.

If parents are looking for ways to engage their children while working from home, content strategist and editorial project manager, Anne Miller, developed a slideshow with ideas and activities for kids throughout the workday.


Family Well-Being

Common Sense Media has a list of tips and resources that families can use to manage anxiety, be physically active, and maintain healthy habits (this list can also be translated into Spanish). PBS KIDS for Parents has a list of activities that parents and children can engage in together to de-stress during coronavirus. For families with parents who are working from home but are now also tasked with homeschooling their children, the Hechinger Report provides tips for parents on maintaining a healthy work-family balance throughout the transition.

The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley also provides guidance to parents of teens and college students on understanding why social isolation may be especially difficult for this age group, and ways in which parents and their teens can maintain healthy relationships while at home during this time.

Helping children stay active & eat healthy

Action for Healthy Kids has compiled a diverse list of resources that support physical activity, nutritious eating, and mindfulness.

Staying active

PBS KIDS for Parents has a list of 8 indoor activities that kids can participate in to be physically active at home. Joe Wicks, a YouTube fitness instructor, has dedicated himself to livestreaming child-friendly workouts every weekday in a P.E with Joe series, in response to knowing that many children no longer have access to PE. Playworks also has a Play at Home Playbook with activities that children can participate in at home, along with livestreamed recess throughout the week!

DC Scores has also created a curriculum to keep kids' minds and bodies active, which include activities that focus on soccer and writing. For parents of young athletes, Aspen Institute's Project Play has a list of virtual training opportunities available to youth athletes.

Healthy eating

USDA ChooseMyPlate has a list of tips for food planning during a pandemic. In addition, they have cooking-based nutrition activities for children aged 8-12 and nutrition-focused activities that the entire family can participate in.

For more cooking at home, the Washington Post has an article on how to cook for and with your kids during the extended coronavirus school closures. The Academy of Culinary Nutrition also has a list of the top 25 kid-friendly food blogs.

Supporting Families Experiencing Financial Hardship

There are many community organizations that can help support families during periods of economic hardship. Local United Ways are providing a wide range of supports during this time. Visit your local United Way page to see the supports available through the United Way in your area.

The below list of resources is not exhaustive, and we encourage you to reach out to partnering organizations to identify community resources and services to support families.



If you have a Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgage, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single-family homeowners.

Department of Housing and Urban Development's page on resources available for homeowner assistance.

Looking for guidance about your housing payments and options? Housing counseling agencies on this list are approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Internet and Telephone

A number of broadband and telephone service providers have said that they will support the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, which includes to "not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic."

Several internet providers have announced that they will make their services available for free for households with K-12 and/or college students who don't already have internet through the company. Further installation fees may also be waived for new student households. Please contact your local internet provider for additional information.


If you have any bills that are actively reporting to your credit, please call them and tell them that you live in an area affected by COVID-19. Some creditors are waiting fees for up to 60 days with no late payments. Call to see how they may be able to help you during this time.

Many banks and credit card companies are encouraging customers to call and discuss payment and credit lines

State and Local

Food Assistance

Feeding America has a national list of food banks, as well as a list of short and longer-term food assistance options.

USDA has information on eligibility and application information for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly food stamps.

Economic Assistance

The National Conference of State Legislatures has a list of states that have paid sick leave laws.

Visit your state's Department of Labor page to determine your state's updated unemployment policy during the pandemic.

Financial aid may be available in your city or state. Check your state and local government's websites, along with your local news provider that may be aware of nonprofits in your area that are providing supports for families.


Some cities and states have instituted moratoriums on evictions during COVID-19. Check your city or state's housing sites to check. For example, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York have issued a hold on evictions.

A blog on a real estate website updated on March 24 has a list of states and cities issuing a moratorium on evictions:


Diaper banks that distribute diapers to families in need. See if there is a bank in your area:<

Staying connected and engaged while your team is working remotely can pose some new challenges. We've gathered some resources for staying connected with your team and boosting staff morale in a remote work environment.

Platforms to stay connected with your team

Virtual meetings where participants are able to "see" each other can help to boost engagement, and the ability to share screens for participants to view PowerPoints, documents, and webpages together can be especially helpful.

These platforms offer free phone and video calling services:

Supporting & Engaging Staff

Like many afterschool programs, Horton's Kids leadership is forced to react and adjust to new and shifting information every day during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch Horton's Kids' Interim Executive Director Billy Fettweis talk about their focus areas for ensuring staff is supported throughout.

For information sharing and instant messaging purposes, Slack can be a helpful resource as well.

Successfully working from home

Successfully working from home If it's your first time working from home, BBC Worklife has compiled a list of tips and resources to apply when working from home to stay productive.

If parents are looking for ways to engage their children while working from home, content strategist and editorial project manager, Anne Miller, developed a slideshow with ideas and activities for kids throughout the workday.

How to keep your team connected & engaged

Zoom, a video conferencing platform, has tips on successfully managing remote teams and also practices for creating a sense of culture and community while working remotely.

Virtual meetings

Similar to an in-person meeting, there are tips and tricks that can be used in a virtual meeting to maximize engagement and effectiveness. Harvard Business Review published an article on 12 steps to run an effective virtual meeting, and another article listing 5 rules to follow to boost engagement and participation in virtual meetings.

Morale boosters

You can still engage staff while working remotely! CNBC has a list of ways to engage staff while working from home – which include recreating morning coffee breaks, helping each other stay relaxed and healthy, and hosting virtual happy hours. Forbes also has tips to maintain employee morale in a remote work environment.