Creativity Continues to Be Encouraged Virtually by Parents As Teacher, DECC Home Visitors

May Learning Bags

Activity Bags for families

Learning Bags were delivered by educators to families with a “bedtime routine” theme and included baby wash and an animal puppet washcloth, toothbrushes, bedtime books, and “sweet dream” spray. Home visitors were able to use the bag contents for activities during virtual visits and to encourage families in developing their own special bedtime routines. These Learning Bags will continue as a way to share resources and offer supplies, as well as to keep in touch with families. Masks are worn and social distancing guidelines are followed if families are home when bags are delivered.


In addition, partnership with the Food Bank allowed home visitors to drop off food boxes containing nonperishable food items at a family’s doorstep. A valuable resource shared this month is the JFS free and confidential emotional support hotline: 302-781-4537.


Many families in recovery are struggling with relapse during the pandemic, and home visitors are staying in touch with families, DFS, and treatment center counselors to provide support and continuity of services. In May, home visitors started a Zoom group for families in recovery and are providing twice-a-month online parenting groups with enrolled families. They explore a variety of topics and have had tremendous attendance. In June, they invited the Mommy & Me homes into the Zoom group as well.


Many families missed the connection of groups such as Stay and Play. Starting in May, regular weekly groups were held around Storytime and Music! Starting in July, these groups featured a guest each week and an activity. The two pictures show Theresa Mast and Kristi Gamuciello-Smith from PAT, holding a Zoom Stay and Play, where they interacted with parents and children, and had children interact with each other during an activity!


(See photo) The above picture is a 2-year-old child in the Parents As Teachers program experimenting with tissue paper process art, using watercolor paper and tissue paper squares that were dropped off in a Learning Bag. His mother speaks Russian and English, and she speaks to him in Russian when she is home alone with him. He is learning the names of colors and body parts in both English and Russian!

The above photo was sent from a mom in recovery who set up a safe play space for her son in the home as he learns to crawl!

Another mom receiving home visits graduated this spring with her associate degree and just moved into her very first apartment on her own! This teen mother of two escaped from domestic violence and childhood trauma, and works now as a preschool teacher.

The home visitors have been working hard to meet their families’ needs — as well as the needs of their own family needs — since March 13. We are extremely proud of our team!

Submitted by:

Christine Hoeflich-Olley
Program Manager

Home-Based Programs

DECC Parents As Teachers, New Directions Early Head Start, First Start Delaware: Early Head Start Partnership, Stand By Me Partnership
302-398-8945 ext. 117

Fax: 302-398-8983