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Coronavirus – Information Hub for Families and Children

This is our information hub for children, young people, and families in Wales.

We will post answers to your questions, be honest when we don’t have the answers, post ideas, things to do while at home and things make you relax and laugh.

All children have the right to reliable information under the UNCRC.

Everything will be as bilingual as we can make it, and we will involve you in curating and writing materials.

We want to build this space with you, so please send us any suggestions you have, and please feel free to send your questions over.

Together stronger. We will get through this.

Our office building is closed, but our Investigation and Advice service is still open for children, families and professionals, so please get in touch if you need advice and support.

We can offer advice and support to any child, young person, or somebody who cares for them if they feel that they’ve been treated unfairly.

Contact us

Advice if you’re worried

Newsround

Newsround have a page that gives advice if you’re worried about Coronavirus. It talks about:

  • sharing your concerns with a trusted adult
  • staying in touch with elderly relatives
  • doing things you enjoy

Go to Newsround

Meic

Meic can listen to you if you’re feeling worried and help you to feel better.

You can call them or chat to them online.

This is how their service works.

Contact Meic

Childline

Childline can listen to your worries and help you to cope with them.

Here’s how their service works.

Contact Childline.

Staying mentally healthy

Nesdi Jones

The singer, rapper and YouTuber Nesdi Jones talks about what keeps her mentally healthy. When she’s stressed or bored, Nesdi sings and writes – why not have a go yourself!?

Mind

The mental health charity mind has made a page for young people who are worried about coronavirus and want to know how to cope with changes to their lives.

Go to their page

Washing your hands

Something we can all do to protect ourselves and others around us is to wash our hands regularly, and for at least twenty seconds.

Keeping fit

Joe Wicks, ‘The Body Coach’, will broadcast ‘PE with Joe’ live from his YouTube Channel, every day Monday-Friday at 9am, starting on Monday 23 March

Mindfulness

Mindfulness can help you to stay mentally healthy.

We are Platfform, who help people experiencing challenges with their mental health, have recorded a mindfulness session to help you.

 

Animation lessons/activities

The illustrator Huw Aaron will post a video every day, from 23 March, teaching children how to illustrate, and make their own comics and animations.

So as well as learning about art, it’s a great opportunity for your children to hear Welsh daily if you don’t speak Welsh at home.


Ukulele Lessons

The musician Mei Gwynedd has started a new YouTube channel helping children, young people and families learn how to play the Ukulele from scratch.

This is another opportunity for children to hear Welsh daily if you don’t speak Welsh at home.

Sock Rhumba

Mrs Powell-Davies from Penclawdd school isn’t letting the isolation get in the way of her daily routine with her class. The whole of Wales will be able to join in the fun now!

Daily Dance Classes

Diverse Dance Mix are running daily dance sessions that you can join from home.

They run at 1:30pm every weekday on Facebook Live.

Go to their Facebook page

CôR-ONA!

Côr (choir in Welsh)-ONA is a Facebook group where people post videos of themselves and/or family members singing.

There are some brilliantly uplifting songs from a wide variety of people.

Go to CôR-ONA’s facebook page

Just a bit of fun onboard HMS Defender! Tymed bach o hwyl ar HMS Defender!

Posted by Dafydd Boyle on Saturday, 21 March 2020

Free Amazon audio books

While schools are closed, Amazon has made its library of audio books for children and young people free.

You can stream them all from their site.

Go to the collection

CRIW | Urdd Gobaith Cymru

There’s a wide selection of activities and resources on the Urdd’s website, ranging from cooking, to arts and crafts, to mindfulness.

Go to their site

Advocacy

Whatever the circumstances, all care experienced young people have a right to have a say in the decisions that affect them, and to have their voice heard.

Any child or young person who usually lives in Wales and has a social worker can have an Independent Professional Advocate.

There are two providers for this, NYAS and TGP Cymru.

There’s a tool that shows which provider works in your area.

Use the tool 

Support from Voices from Care

 Voices from Care support care experienced young people in Wales.

They’re offering some the following support to young people:

  • Social check-ins, including Facebook live chats and Skype calls
  • Wellbeing support
  • Virtual hangouts
  • Info and advice

Read more about the support they’re offering

Explaining Coronavirus to young children

Adapted from a resource by Manuela Molina, this resource uses symbols and simple language to help you talk to young children about Coronavirus, and listen to their concerns.

Download the PDF

Staying mentally well

It’s clear that trying to maintain good mental health throughout the next few months will be really important to all of us.

The mental health charity Mind has put some advice together.

Go to Mind

Talking to your children about coronavirus

Save the Children have advice on talking to your children about the coronavirus.

It includes:

  • getting informed and sharing the facts
  • answering your child’s questions and addressing any wrong information
  • validating their feelings and reassuring them

Go their website

Supporting children with a learning disability/ASD

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board have made a comprehensive guide to supporting children with a learning disability/ASD through the next few weeks.

Download the guide

Playing at home

Play is so important to children that they have a specific right to play under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

These are some resources to help you come up with games and activities to keep you and your children healthy.

See the advice from Playful Childhoods

Play for all ages – 10 ideas

PlayHooray has 10 play ideas for every primary year group.

Go to their site

Playing in the garden

Here are some lovely ideas for playing creatively in the garden.

We’re particularly fond of making a dinosaur garden!

Don’t worry if you haven’t got plants, anything decorative you have around the house will do!

See the list of things to do

We’ll regularly post videos here from our brilliant Participation team to help you think about playing at home.

Dens, sock puppets, recycling materials, and play cinemas!

Creating a calming space at home

We know home life will be hectic while the schools are closed, so Jordan from our Participation team has some useful tips for making a space at home specifically to help your child relax and calm down.

She also talks about which household materials you could use to help.

All ages

Widgit

Widgit software lets you make your own documents using symbols to aid communication.

It’s a subscription service, and there’s also a 21 day free trial.

Go to their site

The Maths Factor

Usually a paid-for service, Carol Vorderman’s online hub of maths activities and games is free while the schools are closed.

Go to The Maths Factor

Hwb

Your child can use their Hwb details to download Microsoft Office at home, and an Education Edition of Minecraft

Go to Hwb

Twinkl

This is a brilliant site with lots of bilingual resources to help you teach your children at home.

Use this code to use it for free for the next month – UKTWINKLHELPS

Go to Twinkl

WJEC

Resources made for teachers by WJEC on a variety of subjects, for different ages.

Go to their site

Young children

Cyw

Take a look at these online games, songs, and resources by the team behind Cyw, the Welsh-language programme for young children.

Go to their site

Cbeebies

Cbeebies have lots of games and online resources for young children.

Go to their site

They also have games and quizzes to help young children with their Welsh language skills.

Go to the Welsh language site

Atebol

If Welsh isn’t your home language, why not use Welsh story and song time videos on YouTube as part of your daily routine.

Atebol have a YouTube playlist with Welsh language stories.

Go to their playlist

 

These resources could be used to help young children and children with additional learning needs.

Making a timetable

Keeping a routine can be really important, these might help you to make one with your child.

We’ve added them in different formats – PDF, Word, and JPEG. We hope at least one of them works for you. If not, get in touch with us and we’ll see if we can help.

My Routine

A selection of images to help you build a timetable.

PDF

Word

JPEG (1/2)

JPEG (2/2)

Monday to Friday

Each day of the week has a column so you can add your own activities.

PDF

Word

JPEG

Now and Next

You could use this to visualise what you are currently doing and to agree what to do next.

PDF

Word

JPEG

Please get in touch with us with any questions you have about the Coronavirus and how children and young people might be affected.

You can tweet us, email us, or message us on Facebook.

We’ll try our best to answer them, and we’ll post the answers here.

Will EMA payments continue for those who receive them?

Yes. On 19 March we received confirmation from the Welsh Government that EMA payments will be unaffected.

School closures

Welsh Government have posted answers to some frequently asked questions about the school closures.

Read the FAQs

Can a child move between parents’ houses if they don’t live with each other?

Yes. (Updated 24 March)