As early childhood service providers and educators work to support families with babies, toddlers and preschoolers during this challenging time, First Things First, Arizona’s early childhood agency, is committed to sharing resources that can help. Now more than ever, as we see the many examples of community members rallying to help others, we are reminded that by working together, we will get through this crisis healthy and safe.
Here are resources you can share with families:
Birth to Five Helpline
The Birth to Five Helpline is a program of Southwest Human Development and is partially funded by First Things First. It is a free service available to all Arizona families and caregivers of young children.
Having someone to talk with or lend an empathetic ear is more important than ever before, and the helpline’s early childhood experts are available by phone, text or email to answer any parenting questions, from basic health and nutrition to how to handle challenging behaviors and more. Helpline specialists can also help you think about how to talk with children in an appropriate way about what is going on in our world. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available by phone/text at 877-705-KIDS (5437) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or you can send a message online.
2-1-1 COVID-19 Hotline
2-1-1 Arizona and the Crisis Response Network will field questions and concerns from Arizona residents about COVID-19. Arizonans can get important COVID-19 related information in English and Spanish by dialing 2-1-1.
The hotline is a partnership between 2-1-1 Arizona, the Crisis Response Network, the Governor’s Office, the Arizona Department of Economic Security and the Arizona Department of Health Services. The line will respond to calls in English and Spanish and will provide important information, including:
- How to prepare for and prevent COVID-19 spread.
- Testing information for COVID-19.
- What populations are at higher risk from the COVID-19.
- What to do if an individual gets sick.
- And a list of websites with accurate, reliable and up-to-date information.
The line will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and can be reached by dialing 2-1-1 while an individual is located in Arizona.
Gov. Doug Ducey’s team has created the Arizona Together website, arizonatogether.org to help Arizonans have access to resources during the coronavirus outbreak. Links include finding nearby food banks, information for pregnant women and other community resources.
Meals for kids during coronavirus school closures
Many schools are serving free grab-and-go meals during the COVID-19 outbreak. Families with toddlers and preschoolers are also eligible. Children and teens ages 18 and younger can each receive one free meal. Find a site close to you by using the map from AZ Health Zone or call the AZ Hunger Hotline at 602-528-3434 or 1-800-445-1914.