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How can I help my children and teenagers?

Home > COVID-19 Support > COVID-19 Questions & Answers > How can I help my children and teenagers?
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It can be challenging supporting our children and teenagers through this uncertain time.

Whether it's ideas to keep your kids entertained, tips for homeschooling or resources to support your children and teenager's mental and emotional wellbeing  — we have you covered.

How can I support my school aged children with homeschooling?

Supporting your school aged child’s learning at home

If your child will not be attending school and you will be facilitating their learning at home, here is some helpful information:

  • Your school must provide you with support and resources. Each school is different so if you haven’t already heard from your school, please contact them to find out how they will be assisting you.
  • Contact your case worker if you need help talking with the school or want support in relation to your child’s learning at home arrangements.
  • We understand that this could be a stressful time for you. Please understand that you do not have to take the place of the teacher.

There are some simple things you can do

  • Make a plan – even if it’s just in the morning or afternoon for one to two hours.
  • Try and have blocks of uninterrupted learning time. Turn off distracting phones and screens.
  • Have plenty of breaks for relaxing and play.
  • Provide a space for your child to learn.
  • Encourage your kids
  • Get creative. Do arts, crafts, play music and tell stories. Learning is more than just school!
  • Stay connected to culture and community. Learn from Deadly Story or check out these Koori Education resources from VAEAI
  • Remember to stay safe online!
  • Check in with your kid. How are they are finding the work? How are they are feeling?

Educational Resources

Whether your children are attending a learning centre or you are supporting their learning at home, VACCA is committed to providing you with great cultural resources. Let your caseworker know what your family needs and stay tuned for some age appropriate, fun activities and online resources!

Staying safe online

With your children and young people spending more time at home, we know they’ll be increasingly online. The Victorian Government has launched a new guide to help Australian families stay safe online during the pandemic. COVID-19 Global online safety advice for parents and carers.

Most importantly, please be assured we are here to help support you with the education of your children and young people. Remember we’re only a phone call away!

To contact your nearest VACCA office, click here.

Can I send my children to school?

If you can work from home, you should keep kids home too. If you can't work from home, you can send your children to childcare, preschool, kindergarten or school.

Childcare centres are open and running

  • In Term 2, childcare will be free. You will not have to pay for these services. If your child is already attending childcare then it will automatically roll over, without you having to complete any forms.

Preschools and Kindergartens are still open and running

  • Children can attend up to 15 hours of sessions per week.
  • In Term 2, kinder and preschool will be free. 
  • If you can work from home, you should keep kids home too.

Schools will be moving to remote and flexible learning from Term 2

  • Your school should get in touch about their plans via Compass, email, post or newsletter. If you haven't yet heard from your school, try contacting them.
  • You should keep your kids at home if you can an help them learn from home.
  • If you think you might struggle to support your child’s learning at home. Please contact your school or your case worker as soon as possible to see about sending your child to school.

If your school agrees that your child can continue to attend

  • Most schools are requesting that families do not enter school grounds during pick up and drop off.
  • At school, children will be allowed to play on playground equipment. However, public playgrounds are still restricted.
  • Outside school hours care (OSHC) is still operating.
  • School canteen and breakfast or lunch services are not running. Students will need to bring a packed lunch. If this is not possible, please contact your school or caseworker to talk about a solution.
  • Children with colds, flus or any other illness should be kept at home and not sent to school
How can I support my children and teenagers' mental wellbeing during isolation?

Having a healthy mind during this time is really important. Here are some useful tips to support your children and teenagers' mental wellbeing during isolation: 

  • Check in with your kid. How are they are finding the work? How are they are feeling?
  • Tell them it's okay to feel lots of different feelings during this time.
  • Stay positive. Focus on your family's strengths and strength of culture.
  • Keep calm. If you or your kid feels stressed, step away and take a break.
  • Get some fresh air. Take the kids for a walk outside and in nature if you can.
How can I keep my young children entertained during isolation?

Ideas to keep your baby or toddler entertained during isolation: 

  • Copy their facial expression and sounds.
  • Sing songs, make music with pots and spoons.
  • Stack cups or blocks.
  • Tell a story, share a picture book or photos.

Ideas to keep your young child entertained during isolation: 

  • Share a book, read a book or look at pictures.
  • Make drawings with crayons or pencils.
  • Dance to music or sing songs.
  • Do a chore together – make cleaning and cooking a game.
  • Help with school work.
  • Check out Deadly Story for some fun cultural activities.
  • Check out this Boredom Busters booklet from MAYSAR.
How can I keep my teenagers entertained during isolation?

Ideas to help keep your teenagers entertained during isolation: 

  • Friends are really important to teenagers, so make sure to let them keep in touch with their mates using social media.
  • Talk about something they like: sports, music, celebrities, friends.
  • Cook a favourite meal together.
  • Exercise together to their favourite music.
  • Check out Deadly Story for some fun cultural activities.
  • Check out this Boredom Busters booklet from MAYSAR.
How do I explain COVID-19 to my kids without getting them more stressed?

Here are some tips to help you explain COVID-19 to your kids: 

  • Be open and listen. Let your kid talk freely. Ask them open questions.
  • Be honest. Always answer their questions honestly. Think about how old your child is and how much they can understand.
  • Be supportive. Your child may be scared or confused. Give them time and space to share how they are feeling and let them know you are there for them.
  • It is OK not to know the answers. It is fine to say “We don't know, but we are working on it; or we don't know, but we think.”
  • Be kind. Tell them that COVID-19 has nothing to do with the way someone looks, where they are from, or what language they speak.
  • End on a good note. Check to see if your kid is okay. Remind them that you care and that they can they can talk to you anytime.

Fostering Connections has created an excellent toolkit for foster carers, however the toolkit is a great resource for any parent or carer who will be at home with children and young people over the coming months.

Information can be found in the toolkit on:

  • Age-appropriate COVID-19 conversations with children.
  • Being prepared.
  • Creating a routine.
  • Supporting learning and education.
  • Staying active indoors.
  • Suggesting practical skills for little hands.
  • Dealing with heightened behaviours.

Click to find the toolkit here 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material. To listen to our Acknowledgement of Country, click here.