Suddenly in Charge: Teens Taking Care of Younger Children During Pandemic


K-State Research and Extension Southwind District

Family Consumer Science News Column

Joy Miller

620-223-3720 or [email protected]


K-State launches a program to help teens and tweens who take care of younger children. 

With the closing of schools and preschools due to coronavirus, parents may be in sudden need of someone to assist with care for young childrenTeens and tweens may be asked to help look after younger siblings or take of children for a neighbor or friend as parents continue to work. 

K-State Research and Extension agents across the state predicted that youth may become responsible for others, creating the program “Suddenly in Charge”.  This program includes tools and resources for those who are new to taking care of others, those who have been doing it for years, and parents who want to be prepared. 

Suddenly in Charge has four sections: Safety, Activities, Food & Recipes, and For Adults.  The Safety resources currently has two tools available for use.  The first is a Home Safety checklist with a variety of categories to review security, emergency, first aid, general home safety, watching young children, and items to discuss.  The other tool is a Babysitter Information sheet which includes information you need to know if you had to call 911, who to contact in case of an emergency, and personal information pertaining to the children.  The sheet also includes a space for notes about snacks and meals, screentime, nap and bedtime routine, rules, and anything else that is important.    

The Suddenly in Charge program is available at Information is also available in Spanish at  Other information available on the website includes guides for caring for young children, Developmental Milestone publications, or Building Baby’s Brain publications.   

A reminder K-State Research and Extension also has a COVID-19 Extension page to help you navigate through this challenging situation. Resources included on this page are Agriculture, Business, Children’s Education, Family, Finances, Foods Safety and Nutrition, Health, Safety, Wellness, and recommended links about COVID-19 at   

Follow us on Facebook @southwindextensiondistrict, visit, or contact us with your questions at 620-223-3720.  


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