Good evening all,

As promised in my earlier BLAST, I said I would share with you any written information or guidance we received from OEL. Below is what was sent to us this evening to share:

We recognize that our children’s health and safety is the first and foremost priority in this time of uncertainty and state of emergency. We are working in collaboration with the Office of Early Learning, Department of Education, and Department of Children and Families to provide guidance to minimize the financial impact on providers and families. Specifically, paying for additional absences of both school readiness and VPK children and extending timelines for required eligibility determinations, screenings/assessments, plans and reports. We anticipate providing you additional information in the next couple of days. 

Additionally, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. The Business Damage Assessment Survey can be taken online at . Results from this survey will be shared with state agencies and local partners. Surveys submitted by small businesses can be used to access the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan, made available for COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. For inquiries or assistance with the survey, businesses can contact Emergency Support Function 18 at .

Additionally, OEL has asked that Coalitions report on a daily basis any child care providers that have closed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

While I realize this may not be the clarification you were hoping for and that it does not offer much in specific guidance, we promised to provide on-going and honest communication with you through-out the COVID-19 crisis. As new information is provided I will share it.

If you need to reach me, please call 850-693-0808 or email .

As always, thank you for your patience.

Suzan Gage
Executive Director
We exist to grow healthy children, parents, and the relationship between them.
Sponsored by the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida and the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning