July 28, 2020
ELC Broward News
Dear Child Care Provider,

We understand these are challenging times in our child care provider and small businesses community, and many of you have questions in order to make critical decisions about your business. We want you to know that we are tirelessly working on your behalf to get the answers you need.

As many of you are aware, Broward County Schools has approved a Back to School plan that only includes virtual learning at this time.
We have shared your questions and concerns with the Office of Early Learning (OEL), who provides the Early Learning Coalitions with guidance on these issues. We are fighting on your behalf and are urging OEL to allow for local flexibility in light of our community continuing to remain in Phase 1 status.

We will be sure to share new information with you as soon as it becomes available. As always, we encourage you to send us any questions or concerns to questions@elcbroward.org .

We also invite you to attend at our next virtual Provider Learning And Networking (PLAN) Meeting on Thursday, July 30 at 9 am. We will provide important information related to VPK, School Readiness and Provider Payments, Child Care Licensing and any new updates from OEL. The PLAN meetings will now take place every week and we encourage you to attend. Details on our next PLAN meeting can be found below.
Information Regarding VPK and CDC Guidelines
As the new school year approaches, we've received many questions from providers regarding VPK class size, virtual teaching and serving school-age students who will not return to the classroom.

Am I allowed to have more than 10 children in the classroom?

At this time, the CDC guidelines governing child care centers continue to remain in place, and there is no indication that will change in the near future. We understand the urgent need for information so you can plan your fall programs. We continue to discuss these issues with The Office of Early Learning and will bring you updates and details as soon as they are made available. Strict adherence to CDC guidelines is in Broward County’s executive order, but many other decisions cannot be made locally so we await guidance from OEL. Thank you for understanding.

Can I teach my VPK classes virtually?

At this time, the Office of Early Learning has not authorized virtual classes. We will be sure keep you posted on this matter.
Join us for our next Provider Learning And Networking Meeting on
Thursday, July 30 at 9 am


Please register for PLAN Meeting on Jul 30, 2020 9:00 AM EDT at:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
CARES Grant Phase I & II Applications Due Monday, August 3
This is a friendly reminder that the CARES Grant applications are due no later than August 3, 2020.
 
About the CARES Grants:
 
The Office of Early Learning is pleased to announce continued support for Florida’s early learning/child care providers. Consistent with one of the key tenants of the CARES Act Supplemental Funds: continued payments and assistance to child care providers in the case of decreased enrollment or closes, and to assure the providers are able to remain open or to reopen.
 
  • Phase I: Emergency Child Care Relief Grants for Providers
  • Phase II: High-Quality Reopening Support Grants for Providers
 
How to Apply:
 
For more information or to apply for a CARES grant, click here to visit our website.
 
If you have any questions, please contact us at caresgrants@elcbroward.org
Upcoming Provider Trainings: July/August 2020
Ready for new trainings? Check out our website calendar a nd register for our upcoming July & August trainings.
Training Videos Now Available on ELC Website
If you've missed a training, or would like to re-watch one, you can now do so on our website. Trainings will be added on a weekly basis.

Books, Bucks, and Backpacks Event Served More than 1,000 Broward County Children
On Saturday, July 11 Junior Achievement of South Florida (JASF) held their first Books, Bucks, and Backpacks event from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion in Coconut Creek. Families pre-registered online and lined up in their cars to drive around the JA World campus at multiple stops to receive free food and backpacks (for both younger and older children) filled with financial and health literacy, books, COVID related items and gift cards. 


Staff from the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County (ELC Broward) were among the community partners who attended and assisted at the event. ELC Broward volunteers helped give out backpacks with books, snacks, COVID-19 resources, and gift cards to over 1,000 children . Additionally, attendees were also able to pick up meal boxes with fresh items including milk and produce donated by Farm Share. 
ELC Broward : Let's Talk About the 2020 Census
Last week, ELC Broward was joined by Mark Swanson from the U.S. Census Bureau to discuss the importance of being counted in the 2020 Census. During this session, we provided information and debunk myths about the 2020 Census. If you haven't already done so, be sure to respond to the Census today!
A Message from the Office of Early Learning
July 17, 2020
 
Dear SR and VPK Providers:
 
We wanted to provide you with an update on reimbursements for the July and August service periods for both SR and VPK providers along with information on new grant opportunities to support your centers/programs. This continues our efforts to help financially support your day-to-day operations, including paying teachers’ wages or incentives to retain your work force.
 
SR Providers Open in July and August
  • For the July and August Service Periods, SR Providers will continue to be reimbursed based on enrollment rather than attendance even if you have intermittent closures due to COVID-19.
  • For July and August, no parent co-payments should be collected.
  • SR providers will also continue to be eligible for the bonus for serving first responders until they have reached the maximum amount of $12,000. We are phasing out this program July 31 which means no new referrals will be accepted. However, families currently served under this program can continue to have their current referrals renewed by their employer. More information about that program is here.
 
Summer and School-Year VPK Providers Open in July and August
  • Summer VPK Providers will continue to be reimbursed for the July Service Period based on enrollment rather than attendance even if you have intermittent closures due to COVID-19.
  •  School-Year VPK Providers will be reimbursed for the August Service Period based on enrollment after the students’ first day of attendance even if you have intermittent closures due to COVID-19.

CARES Act Grants Available from Your Coalition
The Office of Early Learning, in cooperation with the Florida Department of Education, is directing Florida allocations from the CARES Act to SR and VPK providers who need support to remain open or to re-open. Allocations were made in two phases.
 
  • Phase I: Emergency Child Care Relief Grants for Providers is for providers that were open April 30, 2020. Providers may have had intermittent closures; however, providers who were closed permanently after April 30, 2020 are not eligible for these funds.  
  • Phase II: High-Quality Reopening Support Grants for Providers is to reopen providers that were closed April 30, 2020 and have either reopened or are planning to reopen. To be eligible, providers must have a CLASS score of 3.5 or above or hold Gold Seal status. If providers have not reopened by the projected date in their application, the coalition may recoup these funds.  
Grant opportunities are also available to providers that do not have a contract with their early learning coalition. More information about these grants can be found here .
 
Resources and Supports
Resources for providers to support families to engage with children at home include:

 
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guidance
Please also note that we continue to strongly recommend SR and VPK providers adhere to the CDC’s guidance for higher-risk populations. More information is available here.
 
The Department of Education and the Office of Early Learning remain committed to providing up-to-date information and guidance to our early learning community to address concerns of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and safety of our children, families, providers and their staff continue to be of utmost importance.
 
If you have questions, you may contact you early learning coalition for more information. 
 
Shan Goff, Executive Director
Office of Early Learning
 
Provider Resource Corner
Please note: Direct Enrollment information will be sent out to providers in August. Enrollment dates are August 12 - September 2.
Scholarships for Florida Schoolchildren
Step Up For Students is partnering with Celebrate Youth* to host a series of online parent workshops for families interested in their scholarship programs. Step Up For Students’ staff will answer questions live and assist families with applications for the upcoming school year.

2020-2021 Children's Services Council Family Resource Guide
The Children's Services Council of Broward County's Interactive 2020-2021 Family Resource Guide is now available! Please share this guide with your families.

Easing the Fear of Masks for Children
My Teacher Wears a Mask is designed to use with young children in child care settings. The idea is to help ease the fear of masks that some pre-school age children may have.

FL Dept of Children and Families Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
View FAQs from the FL Department of Children and Families regarding child care providers.

Zero to Three
Please take a moment to visit zerotothree.org/coronavirus, where you will find resources on topics such as talking about the coronavirus with young children, a guide to self-care, and activities for young children experiencing social distancing.

For additional resources, please visit our website: www.elcbroward.org/coronavirus