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Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Parents and Carers

Local Guidance

Keeping York open and keeping us safe

Following recent government announcements, City of York Council are reminding York residents and visitors of the basic infection control measures to keep everyone safe.

Part of the Council’s Let’s be York campaign, the critical public advice of remembering to follow hands, face and space will help to keep York’s Covid-19 infection rate as slow and as low as possible.  You will start to see variations of the posters and banners appearing online and across the city, focused on protecting four key areas people, schools, businesses and places.

This critical and timely campaign explains how every single one of us can make a real difference in our city, protecting loved ones and keeping the schools, businesses and places we love open.

City of York Council put together a useful pack of information for parents during lockdown which has lots of information about how to cope with home schooling, talking to children about coronavirus and other sources of support. This can be downloadable here.

Parents of children with additional needs and disabilities can also get support from City of York Council's team of educational psychologists every Wednesday morning, from 9am to11.30am, until 24 March.  To get in touch with the team, please call 01904 553055.

We know that lockdown is difficult for families, so City of York Council have also created a short newsletter for parents and young people to provide useful information all in one place.

To keep up to date with further information please see the City of York Council website.

Government Guidance

Government Information for parents and carers about going back to schools, nurseries and colleges in the autumn term. 

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, school and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


Advice for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

COVID-19: guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing


Whilst there are huge benefits to being online in order to stay connected to family and friends during this period, the government recognises many parents may feel concerned about the activities and content their children are accessing. They have published this guidance which outlines resources to help keep children safe from different risks online and where to go to receive support and advice:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for parents and carers to keep children safe online


Advice published by the Home Office, Public Health England, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Department for Education  for parents and carers about the main risks children may be particularly vulnerable to during the pandemic and information about available help and support.

Your Childs Health

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have published this COVID-19 advice for parents and carers when your child is unwell or injured poster. It gives advice on what to do when your child needs medical attention during .

Details of the ICON - Babies Cry, You Can Cope programme are available on our ICON page.

Your Childs Education

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, school and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Government Information for parents and carers about going back to schools, nurseries and colleges in the autumn term.

NSPCC have also advice and support for parents and carers returning to education.

The DfE has updated guidance on supporting children to learn at home which includes links to a variety of learning apps for parents to use with their children as well as guidance and advice for parents at home with their children aged 2 - 4 years during the current situation.

Parents can now access regular daily lessons for all age groups, including pre-schoolers, from BBC Bitesize in English, maths and other core subjects, on the BBC Bitesize website.

YourChilds Mental Health: listening and suicide prevention

There are simple things we can all do to help prevent suicide.

The importance of listening, kindness, and caring are all themes that have come up more often than usual during this pandemic. These are all very meaningful behaviours which we can all use by developing our awareness and skills to offer these in simple and straightforward ways.

This BBC news article gives a great practical summary about how you can develop your listening skills. The article talks about the S H U S H method: 

  • S how you care
  • H ave patience
  • U se open questions (questions that can be answered with yes or no)
  • S ay it back
  • H ave courage 

The Kindness website provides tips on kindness that are founded in evidence about why kindness is so important. They have recently conducted a survey on what are the most valued acts of kindness during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The Action for Happiness website has a range of resources that are focussed on kindness and provides examples of acts of kindness, and links to the useful reports such as this Mental Health Foundation report about the evidence of the importance of kindness

A recently launched campaign #feelrealyork aims to encourage people to share how they feel, to support people to talk and listen, details can be found at the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group website

Suicide is a very sensitive issue which many of us can find difficult to talk about. Sometimes this arises from people’s personal or professional experiences of suicide. Often, it can be because people find the topic uncomfortable, worry they may say the wrong thing, appear insensitive, or be out of their depth.  To help you build skills and confidence to be able to support suicide prevention, the Zero Suicide Alliance organisation provides free suicide prevention training which can be accessed Zero Suicide Alliance website, or also from the Talk Suicide website. It is a short, straightforward and clear online course that can be taken by anyone, providing practical and useful ways to help keep people safe.

 The Samaritans website has a range of information, including facts and details of campaigns to help suicide prevention. They also provide listening support services every hour of every day every year which can be accessed by calling 116 123 for free. Their Small Talk Saves Lives campaign gives details about how we can all make a difference. 

There are a range of resources available that people can access or be signposted if they would benefit from support that can be found on the site here or York Mental Health Directory here

Common myths associated with suicide are unhelpful. This HelpGuide article explains many of these in more detail. Probably the most common myth, is that talking about suicide may give someone the idea. This is not true, talking about suicide can help someone who is having suicidal thoughts feel able to seek help.  Suicide is also not inevitable and talking about it can help prevent it.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please T A L K: 

  • T ell someone what you are thinking and how you are feeling
  • A sk for their help, or seek help
  • L isten to their advice or advice from others
  • K now who to call in a crisis and keep the number with you at all times

You can call the Samaritans 24 hour helpline on 116 123, ring 111 to access mental health services - 24/7, 365 days a year, or contact your General Practitioner (GP). If you do not have a GP or do not know your GP's telephone number, please call 111


Yorkmumbler has created a 'Coping with #Coronavirus' page on their website which includes official advice and news, an area for kids, an area for parents and details of virtual classes and groups. 

NSPCC have produced Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers.

The World Health Organisation has published advice on how you can help your child to cope with the stress of this COVID19 outbreak.

MindEd have safe and reliable advice for parents and carers about young people's mental health

Here are some further resources which you can use to help your child during this time:

Online Safety 

The NSPCC and O2 are offering free 30 minute webinars for groups of parent, grandparents and carers, making it easy for you to keep your family safe online. Follow the link or email for more information.

The Government has released new guidance for parents and carers on how to help children stay safe online in lockdown.

CEOP has created a Home Activity Packs page to support parents during COVID-19 and the closure of schools. Each fortnight, they will be releasing new home activity packs with simple 15 minute activities you can do with your child to support their online safety at a time when they will spending more time online at home. 

Childrens Commissioner has produced a digital safety and wellbeing kit for parents and a safety guide for children to help ensure they are safe, and their wellbeing is looked after while at home during the coronavirus outbreak when their screen time maybe higher than usual.

North Yorkshire Police have a new page on their website: Coronavirus emergency: Parents and carers urged to help protect youngsters from online paedophiles while off school

Children and young people are more likely to be online over then next few weeks as they learn at home during the Coronavirus outbreak. Don't forget to talk to them about online safety. There's lots of further information and advice online at:

Guidance for Children with Additional Needs

The YorOK website has resources, useful links and information around COVID-19 and children with additional needs. The COVID-19 Guidance for Children with Additional Needs page covers a wide range of information from mental health support, to easy read guides and changes to EHCP assessments.

Face Coverings in relation to Children

City of York Children's Safeguarding Partnership (CYSCP) would like to highlight the importance to parent and carers of not using face coverings on children, particularly babies which has been highlighted in recent media platforms. The Lullaby Trust who raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies are urged parents to avoid using face masks on babies and state “We are not aware of any advice for babies to wear masks, whether they are infected or not. There is a potential risk of suffocation and other hazards with doing this”.

From Friday 24th July compulsory face covering in shops will be enforced. The Government guidance states that ‘children under the age of 11 are exempt from wearing a face covering’.

For more information on the Government Guidance click here

Help with food and bills this winter

The Winter Support Grant is here to provide financial support to people who are struggling as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Grants are now available to support eligible residents – with or without children - with food and utility bills this winter.

York residents who have savings of less than £2,000 can apply for a grant to help feed themselves and their families, and to keep warm over this difficult period.

From Monday 7 December, apply for it at

For help with applying or for other sources of support in the city, please visit, or or call the council’s Covid Helpline on 01904 551550.

Please see attached a poster with further information and also eligibility criteria.