Despite the uncertainty and often tragic news that has become a part of our new normal, the Coalition’s mission to provide our little ones’ with the best available child care options to ensure their health and growth remains strong and continues to adapt! Each day, we are overtaken by the courage of our Providers who continue to work hard for our children and their families, especially at a time when the sacrifices are more than expected … our child care providers still show up!
And they care for the children of those who are still showing up for us as health care workers and first responders. Throughout the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic we want to extend additional emergency supports. The Office of Early Learning, Department of Health and Governor have all made supporting this heroic group of health care workers and first responders a priority by offering crucial community supports.
Therefore, the Coalition and all Early Learning Coalitions across the state have revised the definition of “at-risk” to include children of first responders and health care workers, which allows Coalitions to utilize our at-risk referral process and provide School Readiness benefits to children of these families from birth to age 13 with NO INCOME LIMIT when attending a School Readiness contracted Child Care Provider.
In order to qualify, you must:
PLEASE NOTE: The Florida Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning along with local early learning coalitions throughout the state are prioritizing childcare for first responders and health care workers. Child care services for these personnel will be provided regardless of income.
Please scroll down and click the red button below to learn even more about this program, including Eligibility Requirements and Application Process.
1. Initial referrals for First Responder/Health Care Workers ended on July 31, 2020.
2. Existing first responder and essential health care worker families receiving services prior to July 31, 2020, may continue to receive services with a valid renewed referral issued in three-month increments.
3. After December 31, 2020, renewed referrals will no longer be accepted by the Early Learning Coalition. Families that submit a renewed referral by December 31, 2020, can continue to receive child care through the program for up to 3 months from the date of the renewed referral. The final conclusion of the program will end on or before March 31, 2021, based on the renewed referral end date.
4. If the referral is not renewed and the family’s income is less than 85% of the State Median Income (SMI), the family will be given 3 months to establish a different purpose of care. If the family’s income exceeds 85% SMI, the family will be terminated.
5. Families with referrals ending January 1, 2021, or after are NOT eligible for a renewal referral. Participation in the essential healthcare workers and first responders program will end on or before March 31, 2021, based on the referral end date. Renewals will be accepted only for referrals that expire on or before December 31, 2020.
Please review and share the below linked CDC resource document with your staff.
Included in the document:
In support of Florida’s families and preschool providers, the Office of Early Learning has created a resource to aide in the implementation of technology with our youngest learners, their families and communities. The Office of Early Learning Virtual Supports and Online Resource contains helpful tips for providers wishing to stay connected to the families they serve, suggestions for teachers and families as they work together to support preschoolers at home and online learning resources for all. Please see Attachment 2. Also, check out this new resource on the Department of Education’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) website at http://www.fldoe.org/em-response#hr
The Office of Early Learning, in cooperation with the Florida Department of Education, is directing Florida allocations from the CARES Act to contracted and non-contracted providers who need support to remain open or to re-open. Allocations are being made in two phases.
Click below to view and download guidance information and the Application form for providers Contracted with the Coalition and those who are not contracted.
CARES Act Applications are due via firstname.lastname@example.org by close of business on July 20, 2020, for CONTRACTED Providers and July 22, 2020, for NON-CONTRACTED Providers.
ATTENTION Non-Contracted Provider: Please Click and Read the below button labeled “Quick Tip Guide” to learn how to set up your Provider Profile, the first step in submitting your application for Cares Act Funding.