COVID-19 Resources for Children, Youth, and Families

Amid COVID-19, many of our partners and other community organizations have adjusted their services to be social-distancing friendly. In addition, many are are offering new or different services and supports, specific to the time of pandemic response. Below, you will find a running list these initiatives.

To see a calendar that links to many time-specific events for children, youth, and families in our community, click here.

If your organization is doing something similar and would like those efforts included in this list, please send an email to Monika Bodemer.

  • Cambridge Self Help Food Bank
    The Food Bank has adjusted hours, to allow for extra time for staff to prepare food hampers for their members. At this time, they are not accepting clothing donations. This page also lists their most needed items and how to make monetary donations.

    House of Friendship
    Amid COVID-19, House of Friendship is offering emergency food hampers. This page also outlines other community services being continued.

    Nutrition for Learning
    Nutrition for Learning is providing Pop Up Snacks for children and youth. Each day, this page updates with the pop-up locations for that day.

    Community Supports for the most vulnerable

  • If you are in crisis, please call 1 (844) 437-3247 24/7 or dial 9-1-1.

    In line with the Public Health recommendation to practice social distancing, Carizon is offering ongoing counselling and support to individuals and families through telephone and video conferencing.

    Front Door
    While our Front Door location is currently closed to the public, people who need child or youth mental health support are encouraged to call and to make a telephone or virtual appointment. This is the safest way for Front Door to serve those in need at this time.

    House of Friendship
    Providing Family Outreach supports to families living on low income by phone. workers can help connect families to resources they need right now.

    KW Counselling Services
    This page outlines supports and self-care resources available during COVID-19 social distancing.

    Parenting Now
    This is an article that outlines tips for talking to children about COVID-19. As well, the Parenting Now website is valuable resource for parents and guardians to connect with other parents, learn new skills and ideas, and find support through local services and resources.

    Resources for LGBTQ2+ identified children, teens and their families.

    Waterloo Region District School Board
    A compilation of mental and emotional health resources for young people and their families.

    Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council
    A compilation of locally developed information and tip sheets, as well as a list of local, provincial, and national support services that can be accessed virtually during this time.

  • Emergency Child Care Supports
    The Region of Waterloo is planning a 24/7 temporary emergency child care program for parents who provide critical services in our community. The program will offer free child care for health care and other frontline workers who have exhausted all other care options for their children.

  • Audible
    For as long as schools are closed, children and youth everywhere can stream for free an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.

    Early ON
    EarlyON Child and Family Centres in Waterloo Region are posting interactive videos and family friendly ideas on a daily basis on their Facebook and Twitter (@EarlyONWR) pages. Videos from social media are also posted weekly on the above link.

    City of Kitchener
    This “Week at a glance” page offers a social distancing-friendly list of free activities that can be done with children and youth.

    Recess Guardians
    Recess Guardians presents active8 Your Home, a daily video service that will bring recess right to you! All you have to do is subscribe, and they will send you a video every weekday with a new game idea, as well as a challenge.

    Salvation Army
    The Salvation Army Parent-Child Resource Centre is holding a daily Circle time at 11 am on their Facebook Page.  It includes a Learning Board, songs, and a story.

    Waterloo Public Library
    This page outlines a list of children’s writers and illustrators who are sharing readings of their books online (virtual storytimes.)

    YMCA of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo
    This page is to keep you connected with your Y community. They are hoping to share stories, recipes, health and wellness tips, on-demand videos, activities for children, and more.

  • Artshine Tutorials
    Free art classes from Artshine Inc.

    Kitchener Public Library
    This interactive page includes a KPL Kids Blog for online programs and their (You)th website for virtual volunteering and contests!

    Owl Child Care Services
    This page lists at-home learning opportunities covering all areas of learning, and includes indoor and outdoor learning.

    Plasticity Labs
    HERO Generation resources are now available to all, to support new teachers and parents who would like to engage with learning and teaching the HERO Traits during this period of social isolation.

    Province of Ontario
    Here you can find at-home activities that offer quick and easy access to some of Ontario’s best online kindergarten to grade 12 learning resources.

    Waterloo Region District School Board
    Waterloo Region District School Board has launched WRDSB@Home – an online space for age-appropriate, high-quality learning materials and supports for students and their families.

  • Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation
    KWCF has allocated $300,000 to address the immediate and longer-term effects COVID-19 will have on our community. $200,000 will be directed immediately to support the health and safety of charitable sector employees and volunteers working with our most vulnerable citizens. $100,000 is being used to establish the COVID-19 Charitable Recovery Fund at KWCF.

    United Way Waterloo Region Communities
    United Way has launched the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, which will support the work of frontline organizations that are collectively striving to ensure the most vulnerable citizens are safe and healthy. Funding criteria and application can be found here. As well, the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation is allocating $150,000 to be granted collaboratively with investments from other regional funders through the United Way’s Community Response Fund.