Supports during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 measures, parents are managing a range of new challenges in a number of areas of life.  Below you will find a range of information to support you during this time.

DCYA’s Parent’s Centre has recently been launched, it is a central information point where parents can get high-quality, trusted information and supports during Covid-19 measures.

The Parents Centre is a central information point where parents can get high-quality, trusted information and support.

The Let’s Get Ready website provides guidance for children and parents preparing to return to settings.  The website was developed by DCYA in collaboration with the Department of Education and Skills and relevant stakeholders.  The website also focuses on children preparing to attend pre-school or primary school for the first time this September.

The First 5 website has lots of helpful information for parents including videos with simple ideas of things young children can do at home that will support their learning through play. The videos were developed on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs by Early Childhood Ireland.

The HSE can be contacted on their HSE Live number 1850 24 1850.  The HSELive team are there to answer your questions about health services from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday




Supporting your Childs emotional well-being on their return to Early Learning & Care

Download Seeing people wearing masks story

Let’s Play Ireland is a whole of Government campaign led by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to promote the importance of play and to provide play resources for families during this time. The aim of the initiative is to highlight the importance of play for children, particularly in the challenging time and to provide information and resources for families to support their children’s play. The campaign will run throughout May and June in conjunction with the overall Government campaign on Wellbeing. Every Wednesday new resources will feature on the website across a range of themes including; Early Years, Playful Families, Storytelling; Playful Learning, Active Play, Creative Play and Play to Support Well Being.

This week new resources on playful families and playful parenting feature on the website;

Playing is central to children’s physical, mental, social and emotional health and wellbeing. Children learn through play while developing resilience, flexibility and understanding of their world. Play in families enriches childhood. All children and young people have a right to play.

Play has never been more important, but during this time please follow the HSE advice on physical distancing and wash your hands. For more information go to

While there are lots of ideas around for different age groups, here are some ideas that the whole family can enjoy together:

  • have a movie night, choose a movie together and add some popcorn
  • play a game of chess, dominoes, jacks or card games
  • try a board game – they can be great fun!
  • how about a dance mat or playing a game on the Wii
  • ping pong, air hockey, tennis, darts, pool or snooker
  • have a pamper night with facemasks, foot soaks and hand massages
  • if you have a ‘gamer’ in the house – play together. Teens find it hilarious to see how bad their parents are at gaming!
  • go outside – play some football, frisbee, dodgeball, piggy in the middle or stuck in the mud or go for a walk at night. You’ll be amazed at what fun can be had!
  • share some of your old traditional games – kerbsie, two ball, kick-the-can, skipping
  • have a picnic, cook a meal together, or plan a BBQ. Sleep outside!

Below are some suggested activities for babies and young children at home

Learning through Play

Supporting Learning

Learn about Animals

Child and Family Agency – Tusla – 10 things to do today

Follow this link for a list of 10 things to do today

And follow this link for lots more!



Core Documents For Parents of Children With a Disability

‘Life in the Times of Covid 19: a guide for parents of children with disabilities (UNESCO)

Guidelines for supporting children with disabilities’ play


Wicklow Sports Partnership

Wicklow Local Sports Partnership have developed a “Get Active At Home” booklet that is targeted at those cocooning at home and can be completed in the comfort of your own home.  Below is a link to their Facebook Page for more info or I can email you on a copy of the booklet, if you would like one let me know.

Parenting in a Pandemic – A Play-Filled Guide to Providing Physical, Psychological & Emotional Security for Children & Families in a Time of Crisis

Young people, including infants and toddlers are keen observers of people and environments, noticing and reacting in response to stress in their parents, caregivers, peers and their community at large. They may ask direct questions about what is happening now or what will happen in the future and may behave differently in reaction to strong feelings like fear, worry, sadness and anger in response to the current pandemic. Children can also worry about their own safety and the safety of their loved ones, how they will get their basic needs met, and the uncertainties with respect to the future beyond times of crisis like these.

Dublin City South CYPSC commissioned a series of conversational-style presentation videos  by psychotherapists Janet Healy & Joanna Fortune as a road-map to support stress and tension using practical play based activities that parents can add to their parental toolkit.  They speak directly to parents about the challenges they are currently facing as the country, providing support, comfort and reassurance at a particularly stressful time for families. Each short film will incorporate ‘a call for playful action’, where opportunities for play will become the means through which each identified thematic challenge of the crisis,  will be addressed through a series of Parent-led Play Interventions in the family home, using ordinary household and store-cupboard materials such as cotton wool, newspapers, toilet roll, flour and rice.

An introduction video and the 6 thematic series videos can be found via links from the DCS CYPSC webpage,

Supporting the playful parenting videos are a suite of creative ‘ How to make’ videos,


National Parents Council

The National Parents Council (NPC) have developed a plan to support parents on a daily basis using online supports.

The platforms that NPC are using:

Facebook – National Parents Council Primary,
Instagram – @nationalparentscouncil,
Twitter @NPCprimary

NPC will be publishing a daily edition each day which will include videos; professionals in the field of education, mental health, fitness and the arts who are providing these. Also available will be useful hints and tips for parents and activities for children who are in primary and pre-school. NPC will also be sending out a weekly newsletter to let parents know what is coming up during the week.

There is also a new ‘Learning at home’ online programme for early years parents available on the website.   See link below for details.



Looking after you and your family during Covid 19 isolation

Supports for Parents

Well-being and self-care

Advice and tips on looking after your mental well-being and cope with your new daily routine

A guide for parents with teens during Covid -19 to help them through the challenges they are facing during Covid-19 restrictions.

Jigsaw Support Line

We are pleased to announce that our Jigsaw Support Line is up and running on freefone 1800 JIGSAW (544 729). This new initiative, developed as part of our Covid – 19 response, aims to provide free, relevant and accessible mental health support, education, advice and guidance to young people aged 12 to 25 years old, and/or their parents/concerned others who are resident in the Republic of Ireland.

Alongside the Support Line, we are also offering an inbound SMS and email service, both operated by a designated group of Jigsaw Clinicians. Both additional offerings aim to give all potential users various options to get in touch and initiate a request for a return call from a Jigsaw Clinician.

  1. 1800 JIGSAW (544729)    Opening hours: Monday to Friday 1pm- 5pm.
  2. SMS 086 180 3880.           Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
  3. Email     Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Jigsaw Online (

Online courses for parents:

Teacher Webinars: We are planning a series of live webinars – ‘Jigsaw Connect for Teachers’ over the next four Thursdays (4pm – 5pm each Thursday), in collaboration with ESCI – Education Support Centres, Ireland. The live webinars, available to teachers who have signed up to our online eLearning Platform, will be hosted by Jigsaw Clinicians and include teachers on the panels for each. The dates & themes are as follows:

  • Thursday, 23rd April, 4pm – 5pm | Teacher-self-care for Post-Primary Teachers
  • Thursday 30th April, 4pm – 5pm | Teacher Self-care for Primary Teachers
  • Thursday 7th May, 4pm – 5pm | School connectedness – How are teachers currently maintaining school connections with students while being disconnected (during school closures)
  • Thursday 14th May, 4pm – 5pm | Managing Student stress and anxiety – How can teachers support their students to cope with the stress and anxiety of ‘unknowns’ re exams in the midst of Covid-19


These webinars will be recorded and made available for all teachers on both  and the ESCI website

The Art of Storytelling

BLATHU Spring Newsletter


Barnardos have a new Heart Mind Body section on their website. It’s so important that we take care of ourselves during this time and so Barnardos has put together this new online, mindful resource.

The Heart, Body and Mind section of the website will be regularly updated with new activities including videos and mindfulness exercises by Barnardos staff who believe wholeheartedly in this message of connection.

There are lots of fun activities to keep your children engaged, and activities that the family can do together.

They also have a section for the wellbeing of parents. This section aims to provide you with tips on how to check in and be kind to yourself.



Guidelines for Parents’ Associations with regard to Covid-19

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