Good Afternoon Providers,
The path of Hurricane Irma is still uncertain, but we know that Florida is going to feel her effects. Pinellas and surrounding counties are beginning to prepare, and we wanted to ensure that all of you are taking the proper precautions for yourselves and the families you serve. The safety of our providers and families during Irma is paramount.
Pinellas County License Board
recommends the following guidelines when preparing your home or center for the storm:
- Clear your playgrounds of any unanchored equipment. Turn equipment that could retain water upside down. Move garbage cans to an inside location and do a check of your premises to make sure everything is secured. It is ok to close your playground for a day or two in order to prepare.
- Notify your parents in advance if you should choose to close. Pinellas County Schools just announced that they are closed on Thursday and Friday. If you follow the Pinellas County School's calendar you should alert parents that you will not be open as well.
- Should you choose to remain open, make sure that parents are aware of your emergency plans and where you would evacuate if needed. Be sure that you have current emergency contact information for all parents/guardians. Also, you may not remain open if you are located in a mandatory evacuation zone, so please be aware of what zone your home/center is located in.
- If you unfortunately suffer damage to your home or children's center, you must notify our office immediately. Please call (727) 507-4857 ext. 7905 (Julie Oliver's extension). Prior to re-opening, you must have a visit from a licensing specialist to verify that health and safety requirements are in compliance.
All SR and VPK providers MUST report closures to the Coalition by calling 727-400-4417. Please give your provider/center name, anticipated dates of closure and best contact number.
For VPK providers, information regarding reimbursement during temporary emergency closures can be found HERE
For SR providers, information regarding reimbursement during temporary emergency closures can be found HERE
Both Pinellas County Schools and the Early Learning Coalition
will be closed tomorrow, September 7th, and Friday, September 8th. The Pinellas County
will be closed on Friday September 8th, and potentially Monday, September 11th, but will be retrieving telephone messages as possible. W
e encourage all providers to use their best judgement in closure decisions.
This is a scary time for the state of Florida, but having a plan and being prepared can help ease the stress, especially for our smallest friends.
Please visit the below sites for further resources on how to best prepare for Hurricane Irma:
For further information, you can visit the Red Cross or Ready.gov. Whatever your plan, please stay safe during this storm.